Realtime Scoping Group


Realtime Scoping Group

Are you interested in realtime scoping? Come on in! Welcome to all court reporters, scopists, and anyone else who is interested in this topic.

Members: 99
Latest Activity: Mar 17

Discussion Forum

Increased difficulty of realtime? 2 Replies

Started by Amy Austin. Last reply by from Debra Maples Oct 9, 2009.

Editing with a Scopist - My article from the JCR 4 Replies

Started by Breck Record. Last reply by Breck Record Jul 6, 2009.

Scoping 2 Replies

Started by YVONNE FENNELLY. Last reply by YVONNE FENNELLY May 14, 2009.

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Comment by Jessie Edwards on January 9, 2013 at 7:47


I've been a Case CAT scopist for six-plus years, experienced with using DropBox, trials, hearings, and depositions looking for some more work during this slow season.  Available for dailies and expedites. 

Comment by Cindy Clark on February 20, 2012 at 9:30

I had the opportunity recently to work on a realtime job.  In this instance there was one scopist and two proofreaders (I happened to be one of the proofers this time).  We used DropBox.  It was an awesome experience!  I've decided that this is what I really enjoy doing!  The technology behind it was so simple and easy to use. 

Comment by Mary K. Levy on July 25, 2011 at 11:03
There may be a problem using SPEEX when scoping the transcript because I found that you could not back up the audio to listen to the prior few words.  I called tech support then, and I was told that was true.  Maybe that has been improved by now.  I stopped trying to use my CATs to play audio files when I discovered that reporters are increasingly sending .mp3 files rather than .wav.   I have found that in older Eclipse versions, sometimes the audio is not really clear, and may even drop a word or two.  So I use a player program unless I am really sure the reporter has a good audio file to play with Eclipse. 
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on July 25, 2011 at 10:56
I know using SPEEX for audio files, the files are much, much smaller and an all-day job for audio can be sent in like three minutes on T3, just love that.
Comment by Mary K. Levy on July 25, 2011 at 10:00

To my understanding, that is possible only if the reporter and the scopist are working in an internet setting such as GoToMeeting or the Cloud, or a similar setting.  Like everything in the court reporting industry, these new things take time to get popular and accepted.  I have been watching this particular working setup since 1997, when I attended the ACT '97 NCRA convention and Jim Woitalla and his scopist, Shirley, gave a demo of it as part of a seminar.  They gave out handout instructions at that time to work that way, but look how long it has been to finally get there.  By the way, this is one of the benefits of being older.  You remember all these little tidbits of history. 


Since I am now on my soapbox after morning coffee, I would like to break down this area of reporting and scoping a little bit.  Yes, Total Eclipse and Case have the ability to create work units, or automatically break a transcript according to reporter preferences as to settings, and upload the files to a designated storage area for retrieval by a scopist.  The Internet storage places like iBackup, have had this capability built in with their accounts if one sets it up with their account.  I used that capability in working with a reporter, who set up an automatic upload on her end into my account for sending me work.  I downloaded files and went to work on them, both dailies and regular work.


I am sure with newer companies out there, one could find a company which works well.  Again, as with all these things, you have to eliminate or greatly reduce upload time for the reporter.  You also need to have CAT software which also includes the audio with the broken file.  If the reporter does not use audiosync for recording, that has to be resolved, which would bring everybody right back to creating a new realtime file with breaks, at least twice a day, or more often if you can.  I would recommend breaking anyway into at least two parts if the proceeding is all day due to the fact that something can happen, and an entire day of audio could be lost, even though the transcript is still there.  Been there and had that happen to a customer, very unpleasant.


Again, as has been said, this is not for newbies, or even scopists with only a year or two in the game.  This is very serious business for the reporter, who has to deliver, and a scopist who cannot, for one reason or another, produce the quality of work needed for a daily in the time frame needed.  The scopist also needs a certain amount of computer savvy to solve glitches on both ends sometimes to get the job done.  I would think the reporter needs to be free to completely focus on the proceeding, not worrying about how it is going on somewhere else. 


I also think T3 is the best company around for working dailies.  It seems to be the only service with a good upload time, and making sure the file gets through.  I know the lunchtime and early afternoons on the Internet are very slow, and can be problematic to send or download files.

Comment by Mary Ann Payonk on July 25, 2011 at 9:50
Hey, Kelli.  Yes, I read the article.  There were a few "works great once you get the settings correct" and things like that.  I'm SURE it works great for Breck!  But I can safely say that most reporters are not doing this, nor are most realtime reporters.  But if it's a good, reliable system that's easy to set up and configure, more power to those who use it!  And that Eclipse feature that allows instant editing?  If it worked flawlessly and was easy to, again, configure, there'd be a lot more buzz about it.  I hear none!  M.A.
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on July 25, 2011 at 9:42

Mary Ann,


Did you read the article above that Breck Record posted?  I got the impression from reading that, that that's exactly what scopists are doing.  I know Eclipse has a program where a scopist edits right after the the reporter but I think it's about 15 minutes behind, which is still better than three hours.  Maybe I am misunderstanding the article.  Let me know shat you think after you read it.

Comment by Mary Ann Payonk on July 25, 2011 at 9:14
Kelli, I'd be interested to hear the responses, but right now I do not believe there is a word-by-word way to edit AS the reporter is writing, in other words, basically sharing the same screen and having the scopist see each word to edit, as in a realtime feed.  Glad to be corrected, but if there was such a glitch-free program, I would think everyone would be using it and talking about it.  Don't see it.  M.A.
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on July 25, 2011 at 8:59

Thanks, Mary Ann


I do a lot of daily work and always send the first half to my scopist at lunch, second half at 3:00 p.m. and the last half when I am done.  I also use T3, which works great and have used it for years.   I just thought it would be great to have her editing while I write for immediate delivery. 

Comment by Mary Ann Payonk on July 25, 2011 at 8:53
Hi, Kelli. I do immediate turnaround often - several times a month! I did a several-week trial immediate delivery and was done every night. Using DropBox is great and effortless, really. Also, immediate delivery can be done by sending during a.m. break, lunchtime, afternoon break. In fact, just starting out on a same-day delivery job, sending at lunchtime might be much more effective, as the reporter can use part of their lunch time getting the file in order, putting in this that will make for an easy read for their scopist. I would also suggest that the reporter make it VERY clear to their scopist that they want a FINISHED FILE returned to them except for "check this" marks by the scopist.

You can send the audio by DropBox, but I find it's just much easier for me to check my own audio flags if necessary. If you're doing 300 pages in a day, you just simply won't have time to listen to that audio much, so maintaining control on the reporter's end is critical. Starting out with a pristine realtime feed/rough draft is also pretty much essential for immediate delivery. Sure, any reporter can turn a transcript around in a day using DropBox, but depending on the beginning quality of the job, the scopist may fall far behind and not be able to return the job "immediately."

You also might want to consider just sitting at the job and reading the last part yourself ... say, from the last break to the end of the day. We can always read our own work much faster than a scopist. That will give the scopist time to finish THEIR last part, put all the parts together for you and return to you in one file (if that's your operation style). If the reporter has to put pieces and parts together, that will take time on your part.

One last thing. I personally have had a few issues using DropBox with Eclipse and generating Optimization Errors. They are unsettling enough on a regular delivery job ... but on an immediate delivery job, it can tie your stomach in knots! Eclipse tells me it's an entry in my dict, but I've spoken to a few other reporters who get tne Optimize Document error. I won't say it's widespread, but it might (MIGHT) be a consideration when using DropBox. I feel that sending a.m., noon, p.m. break is as effective.

Last thing is you MUST have a scopist who is willing to research for you. A scopist who's just reading the words and giving you a "Duh?" or "couldn't find" without really trying is going to leave you scrambling at the end of the day looking for those things yourself. I know some scopists feel they are just there to "scope," and the reporter will read it over again ... with with immediate delivery, that's not an option. Needs to be crystal clear on expectations.

Last, once you get used to immediate delivery and have your operation down pat, it's a whole other world, quite lucrative, and what a wonderful feeling at the end of the day when you can hit "send" on the job, have some supper and even watch TV and your work is done at the end of every day, even on long, complex jobs.


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