Alberta Relaunch – Stage 2 – Court Reporter Services
With offices slowly opening and some people going back to work at their offices with the Alberta Stage 2 guidelines, here’s what we are seeing with the scheduling of court reporters into late summer and the fall of 2020.
Remote Video Discovery
This remains the primary choice for people who are scheduling court reporters for the questioning of witnesses.
Using remote video connections continues to provide clients with the comfort and safety of minimizing interaction with others, even if they are at their own office. Litigators have become comfortable with using a remote connection to conduct their questioning. With the ability to see the witness, present exhibits and speak with other parties comfortably and reduce travel, using video connections have allowed lawyers to continue litigating.
Independent Reporters will continue to provide our remote video connections at no charge as we continue to move forward through the pandemic.
As well, coordination with all counsel and witnesses will be arranged in advance by our office. This process helps to ensure that all attendees are well versed in using the remote video and minimizes any delays at the start of your discovery.
Independent Reporters has begun to take requests to have court reporters attend law offices to take the evidence of witnesses.
In most of these bookings, we are noticing some counsel or other parties still wish to be connected and attend remotely. No problem! Let us know who the remote parties will be and we can work with your office to facilitate the remote video connection.
For an in-office job, and when most of the attendees will be present, Independent Reporters will have our court reporter also attend and be socially distanced. This gives the court reporter a better understanding of who is speaking in the discovery. In some larger boardrooms, it may be difficult to have all the attendees on the video screen. In these instances, the court reporter will likely attend in person.
Using IR’s Boardroom
Our boardrooms in Calgary and Edmonton remain available for clients to use.
Should you want to schedule at our offices, we will need to know how many people will be attending so that we can limit and ensure proper spacing for all parties that will attend.
We also ask that for anyone attending our office that only parties required to be in the room be present. Our internal policy is that no person can be seated in our waiting room to maintain the proper number of people in our office space.
Scheduling court reporting services for upcoming files
What steps does Independent Reporters take to maximize security for remote discovery?
Remote discovery and questioning witnesses that are not present in rooms with counsel and a court reporter are now the current norms during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has raised questions on how Independent Reporters (IR) is providing remote services to clients and reducing concerns for clients using remote video connections? Here’s how!
Independent Reporters will have a set login and password protection on all remote discoveries and mediations. Each discovery has it’s own unique ID and password and none of these are recycled.
We will always ensure that we provide the session ID and password only to individuals that are needed to attend the remote video discovery. This ensures minimal chance of a party outside of the session having access.
All parties are tested in advance with the same session they will use for the upcoming remote questioning.
IR uses the “Waiting Room” feature and monitors this so that only participants on the list can join. Participants are held in the waiting room until our administrator confirms attendees, then opens the room.
The Chat feature is disabled. This avoids any situation where a malicious link could be shared or comments are sent to parties that they were not intended to receive.
We will always have an administrative technician on hand who monitors the platform. This allows us to ensure no one else can gain access.
With Chat disabled there is no way to share documents through the Chat functions. Instead, if any exhibits need to be shared, this is done through the Screen Share function. (Ask us how to use this in the training)
IR will ALWAYS provide training before and support during the meetings to ensure all parties are comfortable in using the platform.
Independent Reporters is always reviewing new security enhancements available with the online platforms we use and ensuring our systems are always up to date.
We currently utilize two platforms for the backbone for IR Connect – Zoom and WebEx. This provides clients with options. While our preference is Zoom as it is more robust, provides better video and audio and is easier to use, WebEx is also available. We recently did a review of traffic and server usage that may be of interest to those that want to better understand how these platforms send data. You can click here to learn more about this report.
During this unprecedented time of dealing with COVID-19, we are receiving questions from clients about what they can do to question a witness. Many people do not want to meet and remain in the safety of their trusted office space or remaining at home.
The solution is something that Independent Reporters can assist you with – Remote Questioning. For the time during the COVID-19 outbreak, Independent Reporters will waive our normal video connection fees for these services.
What do you need to do? First, discuss with the parties that you will arrange a remote questioning using the IR Connect service. Then call us, let us know the dates you need and the parties that will need to be in attendance. This will include other counsel and the witness(es) if they will also be remote.
What equipment do you need? If you have videoconferencing services at your office, we will work with your IT department to ensure connectivity is not a problem.
If you don’t have any systems in place at your office, no problem. We can provide an encrypted link that will allow you to use your computer, laptop or tablet. You will just need to make sure you have a webcam and speakers. Other parties will need the same.
What platforms will this work with? We can work with operating systems that include Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebooks and Android. Our systems also allow for connecting other parties and witnesses with their own devices. This includes desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones.
What are the costs of these additional services? There will be no fees billed during the time of the outbreak. We will also waive any fees related to bridging services to connect older proprietary systems.
Why use IR Connect over something I have on my personal computer? IR Connect uses broadcast-grade services and encryption. These systems are designed for business and are typically point-to-point versus sharing resources on consumer platforms.
Where will the court reporter be? Our court reporters can still attend at one of the locations if that is preferred. However, we understand the desire for everyone to minimize contact and, if preferred, the court reporting services will also be provided remotely. Your court reporter will also be on video and take down the testimony as they normally would.
Contact us to learn more or book online to arrange court reporting services for your upcoming discoveries.
As court reporters, transcripts and words are the core of what we provide for clients. Knowledge of words, and their meaning, is a significant part of ensuring accurate creation of transcripts for discoveries, depositions, trials and hearings. The better we understand the meanings of words, the easier it makes our jobs.
That’s why we are always fascinated with words, or word games. Take for example, palindromes. Palindromes are character-units that read the same backward as forward.
Palindromes is derived from the Greek words, “palin,” meaning again, and “drom” – from “dramien,” meaning, to run.
Now here are some examples. Many of these you will say, Geez, I should have been able to guess a bunch of these without seeing them. But just for fun, here they are.
Racecar – bet you didn’t guess that as one of your words to start!
Civic – relating to a city or town, especially its administration.
Deified – to treat or worship.
Level – pretty self explanatory.
Lemel – a small shaving of metal, such as gold or silver. Usually used relating to jewellery.
Madam – used to address or refer to a woman in a polite, formal, or respective way.
Minim – measurement used to describe one drop of liquid.
Murdrum – is the act of killing someone unknown. The act is very secretive.
Mom – OK, too easy! We should all know this one!
Noon – this one is pretty easy as well.
Radar – system that sends out pulses to detect distance, speed and direction of objects.
Refer – to mention or allude to something. A few other meanings also include to pass a matter along to someone else or a source of information.
Repaper – apply new wallpaper to a room/wall.
Rotator – a thing which rotates or causes something to rotate.
Rotavator – farmers and gardeners will know this, it’s an alternate name for a rotary tiller.
Sagas – a fancy name for a long story.
Solos – depending on the sentence it could relate to musical passages by a performer or an unaccompanied journey by someone travelling on their own.
Tenet – a belief, principle, or opinion.
Wow – as in, Wow, I should have known a bunch of these words on this list!
Independent Reporters provides court reporting services in Calgary and Edmonton for litigators. Our sole objective is to ensure legal clients receive reliable transcript services for questionings, discoveries, hearings, depositions or arbitrations.
The iHuman Youth Society is a wonderful group that works with traumatized youth who live in high-risk lifestyles. The team at iHuman works with these young people to help them find their creativity and a sense of belonging in society.
This year the Edmonton office of Independent Reporters is partnering with this great organization and sponsoring the Candy Bar at the Kick It Up 2018 event being help on May 9, 2018, at the ATB Arts Barn. Click here to learn more about this fantastic event and get your tickets to this years festivities. And when you’re there, make sure to stop by, meet some of our team, and fill up on the assortment of candy we will have available!
Learn more about iHuman and all the work they do by visiting their website – http://ihuman.org/about/
Each year the team at Independent Reporters gives back to the community. Usually our main drive is at Christmas, but we know that many organizations need useful items all year.
With that in mind, our team of court reporters and staff gave back in a different way this year. Instead of just one season, we spread it down over the entire year. From clothing to food donations to fresh vegetables and fruit from our gardens, the team at IR provided various items throughout 2017. Here’s what we gave back to various organizations:
– 150 pairs of socks
– 50 pairs of underwear
– 20 T-Shirts
– 5 pairs of shoes
– 2 jackets
– 20 pairs of children’s socks
– 20 pairs of children’s underwear
– 30 children’s shirts
– 30 toothbrushes
– 30 tubes of toothpaste
– 20 bottles shampoo
– 20 bottles conditioner
Edmonton Food Bank
– 75 cans of soup
– 30 cans of pork & beans
– 40 boxes Kraft dinner
– 25 jars spaghetti sauce
– 50 lbs of pasta
Meals on Wheels Over 500 lbs of fresh produce from the gardens of our staff which included tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumbers, carrots and raspberries.
Effective August 1, 2017, Edmonton Independent Reporters (IR) will move to our new premises located at:
730, 9707 110 Street NW Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9
Phone numbers remain the same
The new facilities will provide clients with modern amenities and enhanced services in a very comfortable environment.
Getting to our new office is easier as well. Located in the Government District, this will provide easier access to clients coming from the downtown core. Underground paid parking as well as street and surface parking are easily accessible. And to make it even easier, clients can take the LRT and have a short walk from the Grandin LRT Station to our new building.
Updated access for clients with enhanced video and realtime court reporting services will be just some of the added improvements that will benefit litigators when they host services in our new Edmonton office. The team of experienced and professional court reporters we continue to provide to litigation counsel in Edmonton will continue to provide top-notch services as we always have.
With many people travelling to Calgary for depositions hosted in our Calgary offices, or major law firms, the next question that is always asked after scheduling court reporting services – Where should I stay?
Now you can easily see which hotels are located close to our office, or choose your favourite brand from the list of hotels here.
Calgary is a vibrant city and, business-wise, best known for being the leader in the energy industry in Canada. Most of the head offices for companies in the oil and gas industry call Calgary home.
Think about scheduling your visit before or after the weekend so that you can take an extra day or two to see what else our area has to offer. Banff National Park, a worldwide tourist destination, is just over an hour away from downtown Calgary and offers some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere on this planet. Just ask any of our team and we will be happy to point you in the direction you may want to head and explore.
Calgary Independent Reporters will be moving our office as of the end of November, 2016. Renovations of our new facilities are nearly complete and we are very excited to host clients once everything is complete. Our new address is 228, 404 6 Avenue SW.
The new offices are more centrally located and are closer to major hotels in downtown Calgary. Once the work is all completed the new space will provide clients with larger boardrooms and enhanced technologies to provide even more court reporting and legal services with ease. From modern and ergonomic seating in our boardrooms to full technical integration of discovery services, the new offices will provide clients with new levels of comfort and ease of accessing services provided by our court reporters.
IR is also updating our video conferencing systems in the new office. We made the move last year to HD, but the new boardrooms will feature even better video quality. Our main boardroom will now boast a 108″ screen to provide a feeling of truly “being there” even though you have not left Calgary.
We’re almost there! Once we have the new furniture arrives we will provide pictures of our new space.
We look forward to hosting our Calgary clients as well as our out-of-town clients in our new facilities very soon. If you need to schedule services you can use our online booking form – https://indreporters.com/book-online/
As of today, when you call Independent Reporters, you will be greeted by our automated phone attendant and given three options on what you would like to do. This will make it easier for you to directed right to the person that coordinates the services that you wish to schedule. With having offices in both Calgary and Edmonton, some things were a bit redundant and we needed to streamline things for our clients. For example, our Edmonton office coordinates all reporter scheduling while the Calgary office coordinates all matters technical. Introducing the new phone system will route our clients right to the person that you need to speak with and provide more immediate service for your requests.
Pressing 1 will likely be the main option you will use. This will take you directly to our staff who will schedule your upcoming court reporting and video conferencing service requests. This is also the same team that can assist you with any transcript questions.
Pressing 3will take you to the person best able to help you with any technical support areas for video conferencing and legal video services.
While out of order here in the list, pressing 2takes you to the staff members that handle and coordinate CART and captioning services for clients. For our legal clients, this is best used when you have a hard-of-hearing person that needs realtime accessibility in a proceeding.
After updating our web site this past fall, we had some occasional issues with the online booking form not working correctly. We have done a major overhaul to what we had and, we are happy to say, that the online booking for is now fixed, updated, and easier to use than before.
Now when you schedule court reporters in either Calgary or Edmonton, the form is quicker for you to use. We’ve also added a much simpler way to pick dates from an online calendar which now includes a start and end date for the booking.
After you have entered the information, a detailed confirmation is now sent to you after you click on the Submit button. Previously you just received a message that the scheduling information was sent. As usual, our office will also send an official confirmation so that you know it has been inputted and you will have a court reporter for the day(s) you requested.
One last thing we want to make sure you know about, for every online booking that you schedule through IR, we provide a $1.00 donation to the Humane Society in the city that you schedule services. In 2015 our clients scheduled 396 online bookings through the IR web site, so we rounded-up and provided the Humane Societies with $400. The more you schedule online, the more we will send next year!
Our online booking form for scheduling court reporting services in Calgary and Edmonton was having some issues this past little while. Well, that is now all fixed, we are happy to say!
And, while we fixed that error, we also updated a few things on the scheduling form. You now have more options to choose from when scheduling specific services, which include court reporting, court reporting with realtime, court reporting and legal video services, court reporting, legal video & video conferencing or just video conference services. We think this will make it a bit cleaner and easier to work with for you.
As always, when you do schedule services with IR, you will get a confirmation email back from us, then a confirmation PDF file that outlines all the details you provided when you booked a court reporter.
Remember, if you do need a court reporter within the next 24 hours, we always recommend that you call us. This way, just in case something just doesn’t work correctly, we will make sure that you have services scheduled as you need.
Being a court reporting company in Canada we also provide deposition services to attorneys in the United States. One thing that someone reviewing a deposition transcript is the Canadian spellings of words versus how they are spelled in the U.S.
In Canada we primarily use British spellings, but some words may also incorporate U.S. spellings. American spelling of words were originally based off of the British spelling, but over time grammarists in the United States have made the words spelled more like they sound.
Well, Canadians don’t follow ALL British spelling rules, such as the two below:
gaol (British) jail (Canada/U.S.)
tyre (British) tire (Canada/U.S.)
However, in many other instances, Canadians do tend to use the spelling in the same manner as the British. In many ways this does help to offer some clarity when reading text in a transcript.
Here are two words in the sentences below that use Canadian/British spellings in a sentence:
The electric meter on the house is approximately 1.2 metres from ground level.
and Let me check with the office to see if the cheque was mailed out to you.
In the first sentence, if this text was being produced by a court reporter in the U.S., the word, meter/metre, would be simply put in as meter. However, in Canada, we use different spellings for each. Meter – a device used to measure usage is different from metre, which is spelling used to measure distance. You can see how this actually helps to provide the reader with a better understanding of which meter refers to what form of measurement.
The second example is check and cheque. The word cheque refers to a form of payment while check refers to an action of confirmation.
Other words used in Canadian spellings that maintain the British rules are -our words, such as colour and neighbour. Also, words with -ing endings will double the “l”, such as travelling.
Court reporters with our firm maintain a listing of other unique words that are spelled using the Canadian/British spellings. Our go-to reference dictionary at Calgary/Edmonton Independent Reporters is the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. There is a great video on the Oxford Blog – British & American Spellings that provides even more information on differences in Canadian/British and U.S. spellings. Check it out and you will see why we spell words the way we do.
Now, the next time you receive a transcript from a court reporter in Canada and notice some different spellings, you will have a better understanding on why we spell some words just a little bit different than you.
Since it is Earth Day today, the question to us always comes up, Can a court reporting company be friendly to the environment? Yes, we can, and we are! Both Calgary and Edmonton Independent Reporters are Certified Green by the NNRC Green Commission.
People are curious to know how, in an industry that is very tied to paper transcripts, what was done to be a green company. Independent Reporters undertook the challenge of the NNRC Green Commission to meet their standards and become the first, and ONLY, court reporting company in Canada to be certified green! The management team at IR felt it was the right thing to do to reduce the impact we make on the environment. We know our industry creates a lot of waste, but by making changes in both our Calgary and Edmonton offices, we are doing our part to minimize our footprint on the planet.
What Did We Do To Go Green?
Here is a brief summary of some of the steps IR took to receive our Green Certification.
Promote paperless transcripts
Print all transcripts two-sided (have been since 1996)
Use minimum 30% recycled paper for transcripts
In-house recycling program for all recyclables
Use electronic memos/emails instead of paper
Turn off all non-essential equipment at night
Use e-waste programs for all electronic disposal
Replace computer equipment with Energy Star equipment
Use recycled paper for letterhead and promo material
Replace all office lighting with energy efficient lights
Use power saving features on computers/printers
Promote staff to work from home where possible
What are the benefits to our clients?
By using Independent Reporters for your court reporting services you can do help us to help the environment. When you place a Green Order you will receive a $15.00 credit on your invoice for each transcript that you order, plus there are also no delivery charges. Please note that if you were the examiner and ordered, then we will still need to deliver the original paper transcript to you for filing purposes. This will incur a delivery charge
Contact us to learn more first-hand about our green court reporting services.
Have you ever needed to look for court reporting services outside of the province of Alberta? If so, what do you do? A Google search? Perfect! But how do you know if the firm is reliable, professional and will provide you with the services you are accustomed to here in Alberta?
Schedule Court Reporting Services Worldwide With IR
If you need to schedule a court reporter in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Miami or London, instead of doing an online search and trying to find a firm that is reputable, just contact IR instead. We will take all the guesswork out of the search hassle for you and personally arrange the court reporting services, legal video or realtime court reporting services you will need in the city you are travelling to. This way you deal with who you are used to using here at home, Independent Reporters.
The firms in the NNRC network are leading companies in their locations and provide excellent services. And once they are finished providing the transcript services, we can even arrange to handle all aspects of delivering the transcript to you.
No worries, no hassles, and it saves you time. Just think of us as your court reporting concierge!