For court reporters, especially those working internationally, no two days are ever the same. We could be working on anything from an arbitration about plastic surgery, a court case about corruption, a deposition about chipset patents, or a corporate event launching a product. And occasionally, we may even be called upon to undertake a bit of acting. Planet Depos’ Seoul-based reporter, Lisa Feissner, RDR, CRR, CRI, CLR, was delighted to perform a cameo role in a recent video produced by the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. This thorough and entertaining video provides an understanding of the Korean arbitral process from start to finish, and includes a mock arbitration. The video, with bilingual captions, can be viewed here.
Originally established in 1966 as the Korean Commercial Arbitration Centre, then expanded and renamed in 1980, the KCAB has a long and distinguished history in the ADR space. There are five key features which attract international parties to arbitrate at KCAB: impartiality; party autonomy; finality; efficiency; and privacy. With its main office in the Trade Tower in Gangnam, and a branch office in Busan, the sixth feature has to be convenience. In 2016, the KCAB also opened its first international branch office, in Los Angeles. As the US is Korea’s second-largest trading partner, this is a strategic expansion that will be of great benefit to US practitioners for resolving commercial disputes with Korean counterparts.
Apart from opening the LA branch office, the KCAB had an exciting year in 2016, summed up in their recent newsletter. They hosted a number of conferences and academic programs, as well as, of course, a gala celebration for their 50th anniversary.
Planet Depos has a long-standing relationship with users of KCAB and our Korea-based team has provided reporting services at numerous arbitrations there. We look forward to continuing this in 2017 and beyond, and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the KCAB and its staff on the recent golden jubilee.
If you would like to schedule our arbitration reporting service in Korea, please be in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Planet Depos, we often receive inquiries from clients regarding depositions in China. While China is indeed a member of the Hague Evidence Convention,depositions are not permitted there.
Technically, if one wanted to take a deposition in China, they’d need to receive permission from the Chinese Central Authority; however, that permission is not easily attained. Only one deposition has successfully taken place in mainland China, and it involved a heroin smuggling case in 1989. Further, the U.S. Government was given to understand that that permission should not be construed as a precedent.
American attorneys and other deposition participants should be advised of the real risk of arrest, detention or deportation if proceeding with a deposition in China.
To avoid those risks, there are a couple of viable alternatives for Chinese depositions; one of the most common is to have the willing witness fly to a nearby country, such as Hong Kong. Once in Hong Kong, the deposition can be legally taken as easily as one proceeds in the U.S.
Now, if a trip to Hong Kong doesn’t sound appealing to the deponent, an easy way to sweeten the deal would be to conduct the deposition near Disneyland. Yes, you read that correctly! Since the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in Lantau Island, many Chinese citizens have a fascination with the theme park and often are willing to be deposed if counsel will agree to arrange for hotel accommodations near Disneyland.
Besides a potential trip to the Magic Kingdom, there are many benefits to taking depositions in this autonomous territory. From culture to entertainment to business, we’ve compiled the top reasons for taking depositions in Hong Kong:
Restrictions? I Think Not: Unlike China, depositions can be taken anywhere and at any time in Hong Kong. Just like in the U.S., the testimony of a willing witness can be taken at any location (conference room, office, etc.), over any means (phone, videoconference, etc.), and no permission is needed from the government.
Location is Key: As noted above, a witness can be deposed anywhere in Hong Kong, such as at a hotel, conference room, office, videoconference suite, etc. Plus, for attorneys planning to attend the deposition in person, there are many English-friendly hotels to choose from (the tricky thing is narrowing down all the options!).
Where’s the Money?: Hong Kong is currently one of the top ranked countries in the world for business (ranked #3) and is a hub for international trade. And as a leader in the global market, it’s also a hotspot for international depositions, arbitrations, and meetings. For attorneys tackling international cases, don’t be surprised if one of them takes you to Hong Kong!
So Much to Do, So Little Time: Hong Kong may be a central country for business, but that doesn’t mean its all work and no play! Along with Hong Kong Disneyland, there are many other sites to visit while you’re in the country: watch the sunset at Victoria Peak, ride the Star Ferry, hike the Dragon’s Back, explore museums or temples, and much more!
No Travel Fees!: Planet Depos currently has teams living all over Asia and can provide reporter, videographer, and interpreter coverage for Hong Kong depositions with no travel fees. Our local Hong Kong team can also provide logistical support and assistance whenever needed.
So before you book your flight to Asia, check with opposing counsel to see if the witness may prefer to take a mini vacation to Disneyland — or even Hawaii, another great option. With the ability to fly witnesses and attorneys around the globe so easily, it seems the ageless Disney theory is true — it’s a small world after all.
Katelin Myers – International Scheduling Coordinator
In a previous blog, we provided some of the best hotel options for attorneys taking depositions in South Korea. This time, we’re heading to Southeast Asia and assembling some of the best locations to stay in Hong Kong! Hong Kong’s central business district is a common place to hold depositions and is also jam-packed with numerous hotel options – so much so that it’s a bit tiresome to sort through it all! For busy counsel with little time to sift, we’ve narrowed down the choices to our top five picks:
The Lan Kwai Hotel offers a traditional experience for any adventurous traveler. This property also has meeting rooms, and it is conveniently placed just down the street from several conference facilities. Room prices range from $166.00 to $702.00USD per night.
A top rated, local hotel for any business traveler! The Luk Kwok offers modern rooms and meeting spaces, making it an ideal location for depositions. Room prices range from $149.00 to $580.00USD per night.
Though a bit farther away from Central Hong Kong, this economical hotel provides various room selections, several business accommodations, convenient dining options, and stunning views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor. Room prices range from $78.00 to $206.00USD per night.
This hotel is a simple yet modern location in the heart of Hong Kong’s historical district. Hotel Jen not only has meeting rooms with teleconferencing capabilities, unlimited Wi-Fi use, and other business services, but they offer tours and other fun events around the city when your deposition/meeting is complete! Room prices range from $120.00 to $375.00USD per night.
With a unique blend of classic western and oriental decor, the Pottinger is a luxurious hotel in the heart of Hong Kong. Not only is the location filled with history and charm, but it is also within walking distance of several conference room centers. Room prices range from $210.00 to $1,224.00USD per night.
When taking depositions in South Korea, naturally, the first city that comes to mind will likely be Seoul. Why not? I mean, it is the capital of the Republic of Korea after all. It’s the most populous city in the entire Korean Peninsula with nearly ten million people. There are countless international law firms with offices on both sides of the Han River, which cuts the city into the “north side” and the “south side.” Cultural excitement emanates from the city in areas such as Gangnam-gu, Dongdaemun Market, and Hongdae. But did you know about a city just south of Seoul named Suwon?
Suwon is situated 30 kilometers from Seoul with a population of just over one million people. It’s also home to many international corporations, such as Samsung Electronics, and more than 10 universities. With the close proximity to Seoul, one might think that making it to and from the city is a snap; however, traffic in and around Seoul is notorious for being painfully slow, making what should be a simple 25-minute trip a nearly 2-hour arduous journey. For this reason, many deponents who live in Suwon prefer to be deposed in Suwon rather than travel to Seoul.
Getting to Suwon for your depositions
Incheon International Airport
Once it’s determined that Suwon would be the better location for your depositions, you might ask, “So how do I get from the airport in Seoul all the way to Suwon?” Many hotels in Suwon offer shuttles that run every hour on the hour from the main international airport in South Korea, Incheon (ICN) International Airport. There are also buses that run a regular route from the airport to near many of the major hotels in Suwon. After several hours in a plane, making it through customs, and collecting your baggage, falling onto a bus or shuttle that takes you directly to your hotel is quite a treat. You need only make arrangements with your hotel confirming your flight information before you depart, and the hotel staff will direct you to the proper mode of transportation.
Depositions in Suwon, much like other locations in Asia, can be quite easy to coordinate with the correct amount of planning. Planet Depos has extensive experience covering depositions in Suwon, and we can help make the process much easier for you. Additionally, Planet Depos has U.S.-certified court reporters and videographers, as well as interpreters, living in South Korea, saving significant costs on travel. Simply contact us at email@example.com or 888.433.3767.
It’s been a year since the debut of the Planet Depos Ultimate International Deposition Guide. In that year there were many changes around the world in the realm of depositions. We spent the year compiling those changes and are proud to present the second edition of the Guide!
We updated the Guide as necessary to provide useful, current information relating to international depositions. For example, one exciting change: the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt has expanded their operating hours for depositions!
The format remains the same, with a linkable Table of Contents to allow for speedy retrieval of the information you need, handy checklists, and information broken down by continental regions. We understand how busy paralegals and attorneys are when preparing for international depositions. You need to be able to find the pertinent information quickly. The Guide was designed with this necessity in mind.
The Guide also contains new stunning photos from around the world, as well as a comprehensive list of services offered by Planet Depos for your international depositions. A new feature has been added: problem and solution scenarios drawn from actual experiences that demonstrate how an international court reporting agency can ensure your depositions go smoothly, in spite of whatever hurdle comes your way. Lastly, a directory is included in the Guide, featuring Planet Depos’ International team.
Original Post By Brittany Davies & Updated by Julia Alicandri
It’s clear why we need doctors, dentists, teachers, and researchers. But what about the professions that don’t get the spotlight? What about the jobs that require amazing mental processing skills that are often overlooked and, at times, many don’t even know exist? Here at Planet Depos we ARE such a career path: court reporting.
Though I’m not a court reporter, I do support the field through my marketing career. That goes hand-in-hand with making this skill and career path known to the uninitiated. This distinguished industry does not get the attention it deserves. Along with lawyers, court reporters are the lifeblood of our business! Throughout this post, we will take a look at the basics of court reporting and the court reporter career outlook. Maybe it will give you the desire to pursue this career or encourage someone you know who would be a good fit!
What is a court reporter?
A court reporter, also known as a stenographer or shorthand reporter, transcribes the spoken word/testimony at court hearings, depositions, trials, arbitrations, or any official proceedings. While there are several types of tools and technology used to record, the primary method is a steno machine, a word processor with a modified 22-button keyboard, upon which words are “written” phonetically.
Why are court reporters so important?
When I think of court reporting and its impact on society, I always think of the ride at Disney’s EPCOT. Inside the giant ball, riders are taken along on a ride of the history of the world. One of the very first things seen is an ancient Phoenician recording history in shorthand. It just goes to show how important court reporters are to recording history not just within the confines of legal proceedings, but the world! Talk about performing a public service!
Court reporters are an integral part of the legal process. They are responsible for recording and preparing verbatim transcripts of proceedings to be used by attorneys, judges and litigants. Court reporters also serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities by providing realtime captions for live television programs, as well as one-on-one personalized services in educational and public environments.
How long is a court reporting program?
Typically, court reporting schools are 2 – or 3-year programs, but at times it can take as long as 3 to 5 years to complete the course, and is highly dependent on the amount of effort put into developing the skill set to become a reporter. Check out the list of certified schools and programs on file with the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) to find the right fit for you!
Image by ncra.org
Is certification required?
In some states, certification is required; in others, not. The most recognized certifications are those offered through the NCRA, beginning with the entry-level Registered Professional Reporter, requiring 95% accuracy at 225 words per minute, and also including the advanced Registered Merit Reporter certification, requiring 95% accuracy at 260 words per minute. According to the NCRA, the highest level of certification available is Registered Diplomate Reporter, which differentiates advanced, veteran reporters as the elite in their profession.
What personality traits and/or interests do court reporters typically possess?
The court reporter’s primary responsibility is to record the spoken word as quickly and as accurately as possible, so it’s important to have a passion for words and strong language skills.
Discipline, a strong work ethic, and a quest for knowledge are three key traits among successful court reporters.
Court reporting requires a high level of technical performance, so an interest in cutting-edge technology is a plus.
If you’re a procrastinator, then court reporting is probably not the direction for you. Great court reporters thrive under time and deadline pressures.
Reporters must be exceptional listeners and have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Accuracy and attention to detail may impact a case and, ultimately, a life.
History has shown that playing a musical instrument, particularly the piano, is another commonality in successful court reporters.
What is the earning potential of a court reporter?
Just as anything else in life, what you get out of something is a product of the effort you put into it! As of January 2017, the median annual salary for a court reporter was $54,665, with an average range of $39,442 – $71,549. Reporters who have invested in continuing education, advanced certification, and cutting-edge technology typically earn well into six-figure salaries.
It is also important to remember that there are different types of jobs for those who master the skills required to become a court reporter. A freelance court reporter is an independent court reporter or one who works for a court reporting firm whose work is primarily recording testimony taken in the discovery part of a case (depositions), as well as meetings, arbitrations, and hearings. An official court reporter is typically hired by a court system and works inside the courtroom. Did you ever notice on television the court reporter recording the proceedings of Congress or reporting the State of the Union address by the President of the United States? This is yet another opportunity for those who have the brains and the stamina to make it through court reporting school and to take their career to the greatest heights! And speaking of television, do you know how closed captions are generated? The captions for all live programming are generated by the amazing talents of a court reporter!
What is the career outlook?
Due to the aging workforce, there is a large demand for new court reporters. According to one expert, due to a 15% retirement rate, there is going to be a need for at least 5,500 new reporters from 2017 to 2022. The areas that are seeing the greatest demand are California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Washington DC.
There has long been speculation that technology will take over the court reporter’s job, but until a machine can produce a verbatim transcript with 100% accuracy, with two or more people speaking at once (possibly with foreign accents!) AND be able to ignore side conversations, the profession is here to stay!
For more information on scheduling a court reporter, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a court reporting student and thinking of joining our team, check out Planet Institute, our court reporter mentoring program.
Depositions in the U.K. are, in many ways, simple and straightforward. There is no language barrier with which to wrangle, should your depositions require travel, nor are there any visa requirements. The U.K. is a party to The Hague Evidence Convention and permits the voluntary depositions of willing witnesses regardless of that witness’ nationality, further simplifying the process. Additionally, the U.K. imposes no restrictions, nor requirements as to where a deposition may be taken, as Germany does.
One vital tidbit about depositions in the U.K., however, is that you cannot bring your own reporter to cover the proceedings without proper notification and the applicable visa, for which the reporter need apply at least three months in advance. The U.K. fiercely guards certain professions, and court reporting is among them. Should you be caught attempting to smuggle in your own reporter, confiscation of their steno machine, as well as deportation, are among the potential recriminations – leaving you with no reporter and scrambling to find coverage for the deposition you jetted over the pond to take. This brings up the further point that U.K. reporters are in high demand and booked several weeks in advance. As with any international depositions, reserving a reporter sooner rather than later is the safest move.
To sum up, when scheduling depositions in the United Kingdom, highlights to remember include the following:
No time to waste reserving the reporter in the U.K.!
Again, depositions in the U.K. are fairly straightforward, and using a U.K reporter means your reporter knows the best local printers, the best restaurants, etc. It never hurts to work with a local who can give you tips on how to maximize your visit abroad. An experienced global court reporting firm can reserve the reporter in the U.K. to cover your proceedings and go the extra mile to ensure a pleasant stay in the Queen’s Country. Planet Depos has been covering depositions in the U.K. for over a decade, working with the top tier court reporters in the nation, and can assist with scheduling depositions throughout the U.K.
Just like it is in the United States, depositions in the United Kingdom can be taken at any location, making it easier to schedule than some other European countries, e.g., France and Germany. However, for counsel who have never been to London, selecting a location from the seemingly endless options can be quite time consuming. To help narrow the choices, we have compiled the top locations for depositions in London:
The Grange Hotels in London offer a wide variety of options conveniently located throughout the city. These locations provide modern rooms, various meeting spaces, and in-house business services, all at a reasonable price. (Room prices range from $163.00 to $356.00USD per night)
Located right near the River Thames, this popular branch of the
River Thames, London
Crowne Plaza Hotels can provide a quality stay, as well as conference rooms for your time in London. This location also has business support and services for any last-minute exhibit needs. (Room prices range from $288.00 to $379.00USD per night)
A U.S. chain known for its excellence and class, the Marriott is a reliable option when booking your stay overseas. A four-star hotel with conference rooms, business centers and an unbeatable view of the London Eye, Elizabeth Tower, and the Palace of Westminster! (Room prices range from $412.00 to $2,744.00USD per night)
For the attorney in need of a high-quality conference site, this location is for you. Eastcheap offers a variety of conference room sizes, in-house food options, and is conveniently located near several Tube stations. (Room prices will vary according to location, date, and room capacity)
Another conference room selection that provides business support and over 15 meeting rooms from which to choose. They also offer in-house catering and restaurants for the time-conscious businessperson. (Room prices will vary according to location, date, and room capacity)
This location just down the street from Park Square West is not only a meeting room space, but also has high-quality videoconferencing capabilities as well, making it the perfect location, whether attending in person or remotely. (Room prices will vary according to location, date, and room capacity)
Planet Depos covers depositions in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, with reporters and videographers living in the region. For more information on depositions in the U.K., or anywhere else, contact Planet Depos International Scheduling Department, at 888.433.3767 or email@example.com.
Katelin Myers – International Scheduling Coordinator
As covered by previous blogs, depositions in Germany may be taken only at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, upon approval from the German Ministry of Justice. Once the depositions have been approved and successfully scheduled, there are some additional points to remember. Outlined below are important details to ensure prompt entry to the U.S. Consulate General for your depositions.
The Consulate lists deposition operating hours online (currently Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm). It is closed on German and American holidays, as well as the last Thursday of every month.
A valid photo ID is required (passport or German Ausweis) to gain admittance to the building.
All participants must submit to a bag search and pass through a metal detector.
Each individual who will take an oath must bring a second valid, government-issued photo ID for the administration of oaths (this includes witnesses, court reporters, interpreters and videographers).
Deposition participants should use the Consulate employee entrance (Wetzlarer Straße) rather than the main entrance (Gießener Straße).
Deposition participants must notify the guard that they are there for a deposition and ask that Special Consular Services be notified of their arrival.
A list of deposition participants and their electronic equipment must be submitted for Consulate approval no fewer than 3 business days prior to the deposition.
No electronic equipment (with the exception of approved equipment as outlined above) is permitted in the Consulate, including cell phones.
No equipment may be left in the building overnight. Therefore the reporter and videographer must be allowed ample time to set up and break down their equipment each day; keep this in mind when scheduling the deposition(s).
Germans are renowned for their efficiency, so expect the process of entering the Consulate General for depositions to be swift, so long as you remember what you need to bring and where to go! While in Frankfurt, don’t forget to visit the Main Tower to take in the stunning view of the city. There is also plenty of good shopping, food, and of course, beer to be sampled while in Frankfurt.
Planet Depos has been covering depositions in Germany and all over Europe for over a decade, with reporters and videographers living throughout the continent. For more information or to schedule, contact Planet Depos International Scheduling Department at 888.433.3767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week marks NCRA’s National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, and on the 12th of February the Association inquired of its membership, “Why I Became a Court Reporter/Captioner.” Planet Depos followed suit and asked some of our court reporters why they became reporters.
Lisa Wheeler, North Carolina Reporter
I had never heard of court reporting and, while trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, was flipping through a college brochure in the guidance counselor’s office. I knew it would be business something or other because Calculus and Trig and all of those other crazy courses were not for me. I ran across a two-page spread on court reporting and thought, hmmm, I might like that. My guidance counselor said, “Oh, you don’t want to do that, the attrition rate is really high.” Not being one to back down from something tough, I said, challenge accepted. The rest is history. Can’t imagine what I’d do if I wasn’t a court reporter.
MaryJo Legg, Maryland Reporter
I was just starting my senior year in high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was good in Gregg shorthand and typing – though nowhere near as good as Kathy DiLorenzo. I was taking all the office courses in school, but I knew I didn’t want to be a secretary. I saw a commercial on TV for ICM School of Business in Pittsburgh advertising for court reporting students. I called them up, visited them the following week, and they were getting ready to offer what they called Saturday Special classes to introduce people to the machine. Interestingly, I remember them trying to talk me out of it, until I took a typing test, and then they were happy to sign me up.
Mayleen Ahmed, Washington State Reporter
My aunt was a court reporter. I was studying psychology in upstate NY after high school. However, in those days, I thought my aunt’s life was so luxurious compared to what I saw growing up. She would go to the Bahamas. I never saw anyone going on vacation. She always had money, it seemed. She always seemed to be home and not working. And she — God bless her — encouraged me to come to NY and attend court reporting school. I drove down eight hours from upstate NY and attended an interview at Long Island Business Institute in Commack, NY. Long story short, I went back upstate, gathered my belongings, and moved in with my grandmother and my aunt while I studied court reporting. My aunt is currently a court reporter in Tampa, Florida!
Kathy DiLorenzo, Director of Court Reporting
I don’t necessarily know why. Heck, sometimes I still wonder why. Though I do know “how” I became a court reporter. When I was in high school, I was a super-speedy typist. By the time I graduated high school, I was typing 105 words per minute. That was quite fast back in 1979. (What’s interesting is that years later, my daughter would graduate elementary school at 111 wpm.) I competed in contests in the tri-state area — and won! So, it was my instructors who encouraged me to apply for a scholarship program offered at a local business school in Pittsburgh. I applied in the secretarial category, assuming that was the direction I was destined to go. When I spoke with the admins at the school, they asked if I might be interested in a career in court reporting, given my fast typing skills. I remember asking, “What’s that?” Nonchalantly, I agreed, and at the same time filled out an application for the full scholarship offered in court reporting. After an aptitude test and interview, I was awarded a full scholarship for court reporting…and the rest is history.
If you or someone you know wants to join the Planet Depos court reporting team, click here.