While an Official Court Reporter at the federal building here in Orlando, I had the pleasure of working with many law clerks under the different judges. One law clerk was Terri Day, clerking under Judge Fawsett. She is now a long-time professor at Barry University’s School of Law in Orlando.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to her and offered to volunteer my services in one of their mock trials. My goal was to give the students an opportunity to work with an experienced court reporter, while at the same time, explaining and demonstrating the many benefits of stenography, realtime and Bridge, the trial viewing software by Advantage Software. Bridge requires no tokens to use, is free and is compatible with all the different court reporting software on the market today.
Professor Day immediately got back with me and said they had no mock trial opportunities, but they did have a motions and depositions class taught by Orlando attorney Mitchell Frank. It’s a three-hour class teaching extensive motion and deposition practice.
Within a couple weeks, I found myself sitting in a classroom set up as a trial courtroom with five three-year law students, a witness named “Suzie Q. Sales” (another administrator), Mitch Frank, and a video camera. Unbenownst to me, in the interim, they had worked up a case scenario, assigned each student different issues of the case and each student was to formulate their own questions and act as either a plaintiff or defense attorney for this session. For over three hours and 100 pages of rough draft testimony, each student took turns propounding questions to Ms. Sales. Like any live witness, Ms. Sales either answered the question, avoided the question or went off on an unrelated tangent. For the last 15 minutes of the class, the students were critiqued by Mr. Frank and “Ms. Sales” and even I on how they did, what items they missed and what they should look out for.
The following week, I again attended for a repeat session. In the intervening week, the students reviewed both my rough draft transcript and the video. This time, the students were on their A game and didn’t miss a beat.
There are only a few months left of this semester and I’ve been asked to come back more often and on a repeat basis.. I’m looking foward to the opportunity to further demonstrate the benefits of realtime and court reporting and will keep you posted!