Boston Court Reporters
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At Boston Court Reporters, our membership in the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) represent our commitment to the past, present, and future of our industry and the work we do in support of the legal profession.

NCRA is well over a century old; the organization was born in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois – the great “World’s Fair” celebrating Columbus’s discovery of America.

From transcribing a speech by Will Rogers at the 1928 Republican National Convention, to preparing the transcripts of the Warren Commission investigation of the assassination of JFK in 1964, NCRA is proud if its reputation as “keeper of the record.”

Today, NCRA plays a vital role in protecting the public interest through its training and certification of “realtime” court reporters.

From the beginning, NCRA has been an “ardent supporter” of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and has taken a leadership role in the training and certification of the men and women who provide text and captioning of television programming for hearing impaired Americans.

One hundred years after the World Congress of Stenographers met in Chicago to form NCRA, AAERT was founded “to promote public awareness and acceptance of the electronic reporting industry.”

I’m the current Vice President of AAERT, past treasurer of the association, serve on the communications, education, and nominating committees, am a member of the strategic planning task force, and served as chairman of AAERT’s first executive forum of e-reporting business owners and executives.

Next month, AAERT’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida is an opportunity for members to gather together, meet with each other, and learn about new technologies to improve our delivery of state-of-the-art audio and video solutions to the legal community.

I’m proud of Boston Court Reporters’ membership in both NCRA and AAERT. Together, both organizations represent our industries traditions, professionalism, ethics, and our commitment to education.

Both associations allow us to look to the past as we bring new and better technology to your practice of law.

Finally, with this issue of Amicus Advocati, we wrap up volume one of our newsletter. We look forward to bringing you volume two and a new addition to content through our Google+ page.

Finally, thanks to all who participated in our recent survey.

Howard Wilgoren, Joseph Lally, Stephen L. Linehan, and Ron Cronin won 20%  off their next BCR deposition as our thanks for completing the survey and entering their name in the prize drawing.

To the winners and survey participants alike, thank you for letting us know what you look for in legal support services.

Your comments help make us a better company.

Buck Ewing

 

In TechNews we share stories that pique our interest. Here is where we share the stuff and stories that interest us as providers of audio and video digital court reporting and transcription services.

We’re always keeping an eye out for innovations that benefit us all.

Whether networking, partnering, or communicating, our primary interest is bringing the very best of technology to the practice of law.

As we continue to grow our business, TechNews is where we share the latest trends, ideas and cultural game changers with you, our customers.

Think of TechNews as news-you-can-use.

Are you a blogger with a tech focus, either writing about new products or about the impact of technology on the practice of law? Then send us a link to your site.

With this, our fourth issue of Amicus Advocati, we direct you to our Google+ page, where we’ve gathered together tech content since issue three.

This summer we’ll return to TechNews as our place to gather together the latest information on new products for the legal profession as we make our Google+ page the place to read legal news from across the United States.

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Not all blogs are created equal.

The number of active blogs on law grows every day. By one estimate, there are over 5,300 active blogs, podcasts, and newsfeeds on lawyers and the practice of law.

In BlogSay, we cull content from the blogosphere on legal culture, recent legal decisions, the practice of law, and the life of the lawyer.

In BlogSay we share news-that-can-amuse, as well as educate, irritate, outrage, and maybe even inspire.

Have you read a noteworthy blog and want to share it with your colleagues? Send us an email.

With this, our fourth issue of Amicus Advocati, we direct you to our Google+ page, where we’ve gathered together blog content since issue three.

This summer we’ll return to BlogSay as our place to gather together stuff that’s fun and informative as we make our Google+ page the place to read legal news from across the United States.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a quarter-century since director Adrian Lyne introduced us to that even harder to forget scene of a bunny boiling in a pot of water.

The 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction is an important film on many levels—not the least its $14 million dollar budget and its box office take of over $320 million dollars.

Some have pointed out that before Fatal Attraction, not one jurisdiction in the United States had an anti-stalker law; by 1990 every state had one. Feminist critics decried the films depiction of “career woman” (played by actress Glenn Close) as psychotic; some critics called the movie the first Yuppie horror film and others saw it as a morality tale about promiscuity in post AIDS America.

For those who haven’t watched the movie (and for the rest of you ready to watch it again) we invite you to pay less attention to Close’s creepily clingy editor Alix Forrest and more attention to actor Michael Douglas’ depiction of lawyer Dan Gallagher.

You have to wonder what Dan is thinking.

At a weekend meeting with one of his firm’s most important clients regarding an injunction to stop the release of a book, Dan flirts with editor Alix while the non-lawyers at the publishing house of Robbins and Hart are left to their non-lawyer group think to contemplate bribery and blackmail as the solution to their problem (you’ll miss this key background dialogue if you don’t turn on the subtitles).

If you focus on a weekend tryst gone horribly wrong, you miss the subtext: that Dan is pushing the ethical boundaries with an employee of a major client. When things get out of hand and Alix slits her wrists, Dan fails to do the right thing with an unstable woman who is clearly a danger to herself. No 911 call needed when Dan can bandage her up himself and avoid a scandal.

No doubt, Dan wants to prevent any damage to his marriage and to a senior partnership at the firm of Miller, Goodman, and Hurst. But by ignoring the woman who “will not be ignored,” the danger Alix poses to herself quickly becomes a danger to Dan and to others.

As a digital court reporting firm, we know that an audio deposition is pretty powerful stuff. That’s why we’re particularly taken with the scene where Dan is listening to a “deposition” with such intensity that he’s scared out of his wits when his wife puts her hand on his shoulder.

For an even interesting take on the power of the spoken word, take a look at the original ending of the film.

If you need any convincing that the tone and inflection of words are more powerful when you hear them, compare the two audio tapes and judge for yourself.

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Leo Cullum, The New Yorker, 1999

Amicus Advocati is read by over 1,000 lawyers and paralegals in Massachusetts.

In our commitment to deliver state-of-the-art digital court reporting technology to lawyers, one thing remains constant: the importance of the expert witness in pre-trial discovery.

The expert witness can make or break a case. Their expertise is a key component in litigation.

If you know an expert witness we can profile in Amicus Advocati, or if you have something useful or compelling to share about your experience in working with (or against) an expert witness, drop us a line.

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Know ifs, ands, or buts?

According to the Massachusetts Bar Association, “Among the most challenging skills for a new lawyer is the art of contract drafting and persuasive wrtiting.” Are you a grammarian bar none? Are you a master of the contract language universe? Contact us with your own tried and true rules on legal writing and we’ll give you a forum to reach hundreds of young lawyers who’ll benefit from your help!

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Photo, Pat Morss, Finegold, Alexander Architects

June 2010 was a good month for Fall River, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Douglas Darnbrough.

Mid-month, a bench trial before New Bedford Superior Court Judge Richard Moses resulted in a “Not Guilty” verdict for Darnbrough’s client, a Fall River man accused of possession of cocaine and a firearm.

One week later, Darnbrouigh was quoted in the Fall River Herald-News as the city and its legal community celebrated the opening of Fall River’s new Justice Center, an $85 million technologically state-of-the-art courthouse providing badly needed 153,000 square feet of work space for the administration of justice for the Bristol County Superior Court and Fall River District Court.

It is this courthouse where former New England Patriot’s tight end Aaron Hernandez bail hearing was held last summer after Hernandez was charged with the murder or Odin Lloyd.

The LEED certified courthouse houses court rooms paneled in eucalyptus wood. Each courtroom is equipped with digital audio and video recording systems.

The courthouse was built to supplement an earlier renovation of Fall River’s original B.M.C. Durfee High School into probate and housing courts. Fall River District Court Sessions as well as trials for the Bristol County Superior and the probation departments for the Superior and District Court are now house under one roof at the Justice Center, a five story glass and Quebec limestone building designed “to last 100 years”, according to David Cole, chief engineer for the trial courts.

Until Fall River’s Justice Center opened, lawyers like Darnbrough spent a good part of their court days ferrying case files among three overcrowded courthouses in Fall River, two courthouses in New Bedford, and one courthouse in Taunton.

Darnbrough told the Herald-News that practicing criminal law in Fall River was also difficult for witnesses as well.

“As a Fall River lawyer it was tough. My witnesses are usually local. It is tough to get them to travel, even when I was taking them there myself.”

While the end of the commute from courthouse to courthouse and from city to city was a welcome change for Darnbrough and others, Cole the engineer pointed out at that state-of-the-art audio and video technology in an acoustically smart 21st century courtroom requires a 21st century demeanor.

“The designers has acoustical consultants come into the rooms and figure out all of the rebound points,” Cole told the newspaper.

“You can hear everything in these courtrooms.

“A conversation in one corner can be heard across the room,” said Cole.

“We warn them about that.”

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While it’s believed that the first words ever recorded on an Edison wax cylinder phonograph were spoken by the Wizard of Menlo Park himself, some think it was political writer Thomas Mason who forever immortalized, “Mary had a little lamb. Here fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.”

In 1927, Edison recited the rhyme for a recording commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the phonograph.

On that recording he takes credit for the recitation.

The original recording, made at a demonstration in St. Louis, Missouri in 1877, was accidentally destroyed in 1913. That recording included the nursery rhyme, the sounds of laughter, and a cornet solo.

Even as the first recording was a lighthearted demonstration, Edison the businessman looked at sound recording not as entertainment but as a way to make business more efficient, as this 1910 silent film advertisement from the Library of Congress collection shows.

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