Pennsylvania court reporting rules set; attorneys allege improper use of audio recording

stenograph

Pennsylvania court reporters are in the news in a big way this week.

The state’s supreme court has established a new set of rules to standardize court reporting in the state, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

The new rules, which go into effect June 1, 2015, replace standards established 33 years ago. The change “was driven by new technological advancements and a desire to standardize court reporting processes in districts across the state,” according to the Record.

The rules deal with production, ownership and fees.

See a list of rules, here.

Audio recordings gone wrong?
In the meantime, another county in Pennsylvania is dealing with a different issue regarding court reporting.

Attorneys in Monroe County are worried about the use of courtroom audio equipment recording confidential conversations between attorneys and their clients, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

A deputy court administrator denied off-the-record conversations are being recorded and said court recordings are only used to supplement court transcripts and to record on-the-record conversations of court proceedings.

Despite that assurance, an attorney has opened an investigation into whether one of the judges has attempted to access audio recordings of conversations between attorneys that were recorded when court was not in session and no judge was on the bench.

The county bar association requested all recordings at the courthouse be stopped until the concerns can be fully addressed, but reports say they’re still being used.

Read more here.

Court reporting services
logoHuseby, Inc. provides its clients with court reporting services across the United States.

All Huseby reporters are screened before hiring to ensure their work meets the company’s high standards. When a reporter wishes to work for Huseby, an account executive follows a stringent reporter-review process.

Huseby court reporters also provide real-time and daily transcripts of full and verbatim records. Huseby’s primary goal is to identify strategies, techniques and technologies that can save its clients time and money. Huseby works closely with its clients to understand the factors that drive their cases and to explore creative solutions that provide the best value for the clients’ money.

With office locations from coast to coast, Huseby is well-situated to provide improved access to justice and quality support services across the United States.

Click here to find a location and schedule a court reporter or other litigation services online.

Stop the presses: Stenographer character revived in new USA Network comedy ‘Benched’

"Benched" airs on USA Network on Tuesdays.

“Benched” airs on USA Network on Tuesdays. It stars Jay Harrington and Eliza Coupe.

We’ve been blogging about the  Sexy Stenographer and thought we were all done when we wrote about the movie “Alex and Emma.” That seemed to be the last gasp for the character.

But turns out we she’s alive and well (albeit a minor character) on the USA Network show “Benched.” Have you seen it? If you’re in the legal profession, you might like it — or not if you’re into reality.

The show is about a high-powered corporate lawyer who ends up a public defender. The first episode aired in October and it’s gained a bit of a following. A recent plot involves the main character, Phil (Jay Harrington), and his attempt at a relationship with a court reporter.

And in a twist, the Sexy Stenographer rejects the overture!

“Phil decided to try his luck with the female stenographer in court,” according to a plot synopsis on Fashion & Style. “Although she laughed at his jokes, she immediately turned him down when he asked her out.“

He does a few things to try to impress her, though, and it works.

“In the end, it turned out that Phil’s shenanigans actually got him a date with the stenographer. It’s questionable as to how long it might last considering Phil had to act like something that he’s not to impress her.”

Even worse, it turns out the court reporter character might just exist to create a tension between Phil and Nina (Eliza Coupe). So our court reporter character may just be a pawn in the show.

Huseby court reporters
Huseby offices offer litigation services, including court reporting, Web conferencing, video conferencing, video depositions, and more.

Call a Huseby scheduler and ask. We have more than 4,000 conference room suites worldwide ready for you to use today. 800-333-2082.

Last gasp: Kate Hudson revived the Sexy Stenographer character in ‘Alex and Emma’

Alex-EmmaAs we blogged about earlier, the very popular Sexy Stenographer archetype disappeared from movie screens in the 1930s. It had a final gasp in the 2003 film “Alex and Emma,” directed by Rob Reiner.

If the Sexy Stenographer wasn’t dead yet, this movie might have killed it. At least according to reviews and online comments.

The movie starred Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson. Wilson is a writer who is under pressure from his publisher to get a book out in one month. The New York Times’ review of the movie said, “… because Alex is experiencing a writer’s block that leaves his imagination colder than this picture’s, and because the enforcers have torched his computer, he hires a stenographer, the all-business Emma (Kate Hudson), in the hope that he can dictate a book to her within his allotted time.”

We’ll give you three chances to guess whether they fall in love, and the first two don’t count.

On IMDB, the discussion board of the movie is primarily about whether this is the worst movie of all time or not. (The consensus: No, not the worst of all time, but not very good, either.)

Elvis Mitchell, in the Times, said, “The picture is desperate to be a Date Night event, but it feels more like a Last Date movie. “

The movie also prompted the essay we’ve been quoting about the Sexy Stenographer. In the New York Times,  Katie Bolick gives a nice rundown of the history of stenographers working with well-known novelists. including Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Henry James.

“Of course, the typical (and largely unexamined) history of novelists dictating to stenographers is hardly as romantic,” she says.

Read the “Sexy Stenographer” essay.

Read the New York Times review.

See more on IMDB.

 

Extra! Extra! Newest court reporting technologies can save clients time and money!

Edison Business PhonographStop us if you’ve heard this before:

“It’s a busy day at the office, and the stenographer is exhausted from trying to keep up with the demands on her skills. Even when she stays late, she cannot catch up with all of the work. But then a man comes into the office to demonstrate the many advantages of his company’s new …”

Did you think we’d say “digital recording system?”

Yes, this is a description of an advertisement for the latest technology. But it was the latest technology in 1910.

The original reads, “… his company’s new business phonograph.”

A title card from the 1910 film, "The Stenographer's Friend."

A title card from the 1910 film, “The Stenographer’s Friend.”

Turns out supplementing stenography with technology is nothing new.  The description is from IMDB.com and decribes a 7-minute film called, “The Stenographer’s Friend; or What was Accomplished by an Edison Business Phonograph.”

Check out the entire film, below, complete with Thomas Edison cameo.

Huseby litigation services
We like technology, but we’re glad the Edison Business Phonograph didn’t catch on. We prefer live, human stenographers. However, we do incorporate the latest technology in ways that serve our clients.

Huseby court reporters provide real-time and daily transcripts of full and verbatim records. Huseby’s primary goal is to identify strategies, techniques and technologies that can save its clients time and money. Huseby works closely with its clients to understand the factors that drive their cases and to explore creative solutions that provide the best value for the clients’ money.

Click here to find a location and schedule a court reporter or other litigation services online.

 

Early typewriters, marketed to women, lead to Hollywood’s fascination with stenographers

Public StenographerAs we blogged about last time, the Sexy Stenographer archetype thrived in the early days of American movies, but disappeared from screens in the 1930s.

One of the later incarnations was “Public Stenographer” (1934) with a cast of B-list actors (or maybe D-list) and a plot that revolved around the Sexy Stenographer. (The only credit of note is for the writer Ellwood Ullman, who wrote 100 of the 190 Three Stooges shorts.)

In one scene, a client engages the stenographer to write a letter to his sweetheart, telling the stenographer, “You don’t have to write it. You just tell me what to say.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard that before.

The story, according to IMDB, involves a “wisecracking and attractive public stenographer” who “spends much of her time fending off the touchy hands of her employers”

In The New York Times story about stenographers, the author asks the question, “How did we come to have sexy stenographers in the first place?” Here’s her answer:

The world’s first commercial typewriter was invented in a Milwaukee, Wis. machine shop. It took another six years before E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, N.Y. manufactured the Remington No. 1, and several years more for what Mark Twain called a ”curiosity-breeding little joker” to catch on, but once the public finally adopted the typewriter the workplace was forever changed.

Decorated with floral decals and mounted on a treadle table, the original model looked not unlike a sewing machine — a resemblance which inspired savvy promoters to declare it tailor-made for a woman’s ”nimble fingers.” And women were not only dexterous, according to this way of thinking, but easy on the pocket. In 1870, 4.5 percent of stenos and typists were women. By 1880, this figure had quadrupled. By 1900 it had climbed to nearly 80 percent.

While the Sexy Stenographer character has faded away, some things associated with it haven’t. A recent NCRA survey found 89 percent of court reporters are women.

Next time: The Sexy Stenographer makes a big-screen comeback.

Huseby court reporters
Huseby offices offer litigation services, including court reporting, Web conferencing, video conferencing, video depositions, and more.

Call a Huseby scheduler and ask. We have more than 4,000 conference room suites worldwide ready for you to use today. 800-333-2082.

The ‘Sexy Stenographer’ was a staple of early movies; notably in Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Bank’

Edna Purviance played a stenographer in the 1915 Charlie Chaplin film, "The Bank," and had worked as a stenographer before starring in movies.

Edna Purviance plays a stenographer in the 1915 Charlie Chaplin film, “The Bank,” and had worked as a stenographer before starring in movies.

When we blogged last week about Olive Oyl’s stint as a stenographer, it got us wondering about other portrayals of stenographers in popular culture.

As it turns out, the stenographer was a regular character in the early days of movies, as indicated on the titles, “The Substitute Stenographer” (1913) and “Stenographer Troubles” (1913).

One of the prototypes of the stenographer character was established in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Bank,” (1915). Edna Purviance, Chaplin’s real-life romantic partner, plays the stenographer. Purviance was working as a real-life stenographer in San Francisco when they met and he brought her to Chicago to work at Essanay Studios, according to IMDB.

“Women had gained a stranglehold on the (stenography) profession and movies had begun to take it seriously as a role,” Katie Bolick wrote in The New York Times.  “A beautiful stenographer caught the eye of Charlie Chaplin in a short called ‘The Bank,’ and an archetype was born.”

That archetype was the “Sexy Stenographer,” according to Bolick, who writes:

Throughout the 1910’s and 20’s, the Sexy Stenographer was a mainstay of popular literature and film. And no wonder. Her “skill set” — the job required that she not only type well, but also look good and be mutely receptive, or, in the words of a 1924 Carnegie Institute of Technology survey, be “a diligent, faithful, human machine” — was easy to sexualize.

By the 1930s, moviedom’s Sexy Stenographer had given way almost completely to the Sexy Secretary, according to Bolick. It made a fleeting comeback in 2003, which will be the subject of our next post.

An inspiration to baby boom court reporters: Olive Oyl, public stenographer

olive oyl stenographer

In 1937, the “Popeye” cartoon series was at its creative zenith. Just two months after the release of the Academy Award-nominated “Popeye the Sailor meets Sinbad the Sailor,” “The Paneless Window Washer” (Nov. 22, 1937), featured Olive Oyl as a public stenographer.

We at Huseby Inc. are proud to have her among our ranks!

In the six-minute animated short, Popeye and Bluto fight over who’s better at cleaning windows right outside Olive’s office tower window — which is adorned with her professional association: “Olive Oyl Public Stenographer.” As usual, Olive is trapped in the middle of the melee.

While the cartoon was created by Fleisher Studios and distributed to movie theaters in 1937 by Paramount Pictures, today’s Popeye fans know of “The Paneless Window Washer” thanks to its repeated showings on television in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Olive Oyl at work

Thanks to TV syndication, the cartoon featuring stenographer Olive remains a fan favorite, according to Fred M. Grandinetti in “Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History.”

Today, you don’t have to run home from school to warm your TV up at 3:30 in the afternoon to catch Popeye, Bluto and Olive in action. You can just click below.

Huseby across the country

Huseby hires only the very best reporters. Each reporter is screened before hiring to ensure his or her work meets the company’s high standards. When a reporter wishes to work for Huseby, an account executive follows a stringent reporter review process.

Click here to find a location and schedule a court reporter online.

Florida Court reporter finds herself in middle of conflict between board, supervisor

stenographCourt reporters are usually indispensable contributors to our government and legal systems.

Their work is usually greatly appreciated, at best. At worst, they’re overlooked while they carry on their important work.

But have you ever been in a situation like this?

In Palm Coast, Florida, canvassing board members arrived at their Wednesday morning meeting to find a court reporter there to transcribe the meeting’s proceedings, according to the Palm Coast Observer.

The court reporter, Mary Graybosch, was hired after an Oct. 24 meeting in which the election supervisor wrangled with the other board members over meeting minutes and how they were recorded. The supervisor had used her iPhone to record them at the previous meeting.

The Observer quoted the elections supervisor as saying:

“As supervisor of elections, I’ve always done the minutes, I’m going to continue to do the minutes; I don’t need anybody doing the minutes for me. I won’t have another county office doing the minutes for this office that I am responsible for, so I reject these minutes.”

The supervisor suggested the board hire a court reporter to transcribe meetings verbatim, the paper reported, but no one replied to the suggestion during the meeting and there was no formal action on the request.

Upon seeing the reporter at the meeting, a board member asked who was paying for the reporter? The election supervisor said it was coming out of her budget.

Read more.

Huseby court reporters
While we hope you’re never in this sort of situation, no matter what your needs, Huseby offices offer litigation services, including court reporting, Web conferencing, video conferencing, video depositions, and more.

Call a Huseby scheduler and ask. We have more than 4,000 conference room suites worldwide ready for you to use today. 800-333-2082.

 

No offense taken: John Oliver acknowledges role of court reporter in animal Supreme Court video

In John Oliver's Supreme Court sendup, a chicken portrays the court reporter.

In John Oliver’s Supreme Court sendup, a chicken portrays the court reporter.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to allow camera’s in the courtroom has prompted a viral video that features stand-ins for the justices and other court officials — including a chicken portraying a court reporter.

As Reuters news service points out, the video has received more than 2 million views on YouTube. While lots of viewers are enamored with the bulldog that plays Antonin Scalia and the poodle portraying Samuel Alito, we’re mostly taken by the hen that pecks away at a court reporter’s keyboard.

In the viral video, they reenact Holt vs. Hobbs, which is about whether a prison can require a Muslim inmate to trim his beard for security reasons. As promised, it’s much more entertaining than audio Supreme Court arguments or artist’s sketches of the court in action.

It’s unclear whether any of the justices have seen the comedy clip, Reuters quotes court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg as saying.

Read more.

 

Investigative team lead by dogged attorney uncovers depth of scandal at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The venerable Old Well at UNC-Chapel Hill. Photo by  Zhang via Flickr Creative Commons.

The venerable Old Well at UNC-Chapel Hill. Photo by Zhang via Flickr Creative Commons.

IF you live in North Carolina or follow college sports, you’ve probably heard about the results of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s independent investigation into academic and athletic fraud at the university.

In a damning report, Kenneth Wainstein’s team of investigators found 3,100 students took bogus classes — about 50 percent of them athletes — from 1993 to 2011.

How did UNC get here? After years of denials and evasions, the university realized the story was not going to die unless it dealt with the issues head on, so UNC administrators hired attorney Wainstein to look deeply into the matter. As a result of his investigation, four UNC staff members have been fired, five are under review, and a report has been sent to the NCAA, which will possibly result in athletic sanctions against UNC.

For years, UNC has dragged its feet in response to open-records request from The News & Observer of Raleigh, which broke the first stories of the scandal and has been doggedly pursuing it ever since. One earlier internal look into the scandal lead by former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt determined the scandal wasn’t an athletic one, but an academic one, since students other than athletes were enrolled in the classes.

As the N&O pointed out, that conclusion ignores the fact that 50 percent of students enrolled in the classes were athletes (the majority of which were football players), although athletes only make up a fraction of the student body as a whole.

Read more.

A dogged attorney
Wainstein, with the firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, is a  former U.S. Justice  Department attorney and homeland security adviser.

He explained his role and his relationship with UNC to Bloomberg News like this:

“I do independent investigations for a living and I can tell you that whenever you’re dealing with an organization, be it a corporation or a school or an association, it’s a difficult decision to ask an outsider to come in and look around your business and find the faults.”

He and his team consulted with state prosecutors and the FBI and “received the fruits of their criminal investigation,” Bloomberg reported.

Read more.

Huseby in North Carolina
Huseby offices offer litigation services, including court reporting, Web conferencing, video conferencing, video depositions, and more. Our offices North Carolina are at this location:

1 West Pack Square #1400
Asheville, NC 28801
(704) 253-7033

200 West Second Street, 19th Floor
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(800) 333-2082

1230 West Morehead Street #408
Charlotte, NC 28208
(800) 333-2082

7800 Airport Center Drive #401
Greensboro, NC 27409
(336) 605-9669

3737 Glenwood Avenue
#100  Raleigh, NC 27612
(919) 831-8877

Looking for help in a different city? Call a Huseby scheduler and ask. We have more than 4,000 conference room suites worldwide ready for you to use today. 800-333-2082.