Press Release: Minneapolis-based Court Reporting Firm Depo International is delivering their signature workshop, “Creating a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace,” across the nation

Press Release: Minneapolis-based Court Reporting Firm Depo International is delivering their signature workshop, “Creating a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace,” across the nation

This press release originally appeared here

Depo International is one of the nation’s leading court reporting firms and Director of Business Development DeAnne Brooks leads the team by facilitating the firm’s signature workshop, “Creating a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace,” across the country.  Ms. Brooks has given the presentation in Las Vegas, Nevada, Norfolk, Virginia, and in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the surrounding suburbs. She, along with the rest of the women-led Depo International team, believe gratitude in the workplace is essential to business success.

“The benefits of practicing gratitude are undeniable. The simple act of showing your appreciation results in deeper connections which equals greater happiness both inside and outside the workplace. Our workshops are based on our core value that gratitude and appreciation, relationship building, and connecting to the communities in which we work are essential to creating and maintaining long-term sustained growth for our business,” says Ms. Brooks.

The CLE-certified education seminar called “Creating a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace” focuses on the harmful effects of stress and is based on the research from professors at the University of Miami and the University of California at Davis. In the experiment, one group of participants kept a journal each day of what they were grateful for and the other group kept track of frustrations in a daily journal. The gratitude group was 25 percent happier than the other group at the conclusion of the study, and they also had fewer health issues, were more interested in helping others, and got in more exercise time. The seminar carries one CLE credit and is free. Contact [email protected] for more information.

DeAnne Brooks is the Director of Business Development and has 30 years of experience in the legal industry. At Depo International, she focuses her efforts on maintaining and fostering client relationships, ensuring the organization learns and grows with the needs of clients. Ms. Brooks plays a strategic role in the development of new business in the Minneapolis location and is available to facilitate the firm’s exclusive workshop “Creating a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace” to law firms and employer groups across the country.

For more than 40 years, Depo International has been focused on client appreciation events including CLE-certified educational seminars with speakers, monthly thank you events, holiday goodies and client celebrations. They strive to know their clients and let them know they’re appreciated. To learn more about the court reporting firm’s foundation of gratitude and appreciation, visit https://depointernational.com/gratitude/.

Guide to Working from Home

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Guide to Working from Home

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When it comes to being a freelance court reporter, there are perks like working from home but there can be pitfalls too. For some it is challenging to balance work and home life especially when they both take place in the same space! Here are our tips to keep you focused on your work while taking care of your personal life.

Create workspace and hours of operation. 

Eight years ago I started working from home and one of the best pieces of advice I received was to create a separate space for work and to establish work hours. Even if you’re working in the dining room three until midnight, that’s time dedicated to your business!

For me, I have a separate office where I literally open and close business. My family knows if the door is closed, it’s work time and they aren’t to disturb me. It works well on most days and when it doesn’t, I adjust my work schedule so I can take care of everyone – family and clients. 

To find the time of day that works best for you, take notice of when you’re most productive.

Be gentle with yourself by understanding that productive times of day may shift as your life changes. For now, note if you’re a morning or night person. If morning, take care of important, detail oriented tasks like transcription early and leave emails and appointment setting for later. I’d also recommend saving tasks like laundry and dishes for your off-peak, less productive times of day.

Schedule everything so you know when you’re available for client work and social time.

My friend works from home and her sister thinks that means she can stop by for coffee and gossip anytime. That’s a sure way to kill productivity…and maybe even a friendship.

Instead of being frustrated, communicate your work schedule to friends and family, especially the ones that live with you and the ones that might think they can stop by anytime because, “you work from home so you can be bothered whenever.” Remind them that if everyone stopped by, you’d get no work done so they need to be respectful of your time. Suggest coffee, lunch, or dinner dates rather than keeping an open schedule.

Consider a shared Google or iCal with your spouse so they know when you’re busy and when they can schedule time with you whether that’s date night, family dinner, or paying the bills. Sounds silly but it has saved my husband and I a lot of confusion and stress to know when we each have work and other commitments.

When it comes to working from home, you’ve got to find what works best for you. Here’s to your productivity! If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call. We’d love to chat with you.

Reasons Your Firm Should Be Involved in the Community

Reasons Your Firm Should Be Involved in the Community

If you’re a locally based business, as opposed to online, it’s important to be involved in the community. Not only does it get you and your staff out from the walls of the law office, it is an opportunity to connect with the people who are potential clients in a more casual setting than when they have to come to you with a legal issue. If they’ve met you before they need you, we believe they’re more likely to call. While you might think it is a waste of resources, we’d like you to consider these reasons your firm should be involved in the community.

Getting to Know You 

As a legal professional we often meet our clients when they are in a state of distress. Rather than waiting until your neighbors need you, connect with them at festivals, fairs, and volunteer events. Get to know who they are and take a genuine interest in what’s happening in their lives. While they may not be an immediate referral, they may know someone they can refer to your firm.

Increase Brand Awareness 

Congratulations! Whether your law firm is one person or many, it is its own brand. That means you have endless opportunities to promote and increase brand awareness. The more the community sees you, the more they get to know, like, and trust you and your brand. This familiarity often translates into leads.

Not only is it good for business, but being involved in the community is an opportunity to reach out to your social media following. Share where you will be before, during, and after using Facebook live. If your target clients are younger, you might even try your hand at Snapchat. Other ways to share are in press releases like the ones we have posted on this blog and to create blog posts specific to your community involvement.

Client and Employee Retention

In today’s hectic world people have a real need to be part of something bigger than themselves and want to do business with people they can trust. That’s why you being involved in the community matters.

  • Team building through volunteer projects. We know that employees who are appreciated are more likely to stay at their current job. Create those opportunities for your legal team.
  • Increased brand awareness. Wear company colors or logo wear wherever you volunteer so everyone you meet knows it’s the XYZ firm that’s building those houses or feeding the hungry.
  • Don’t keep it a secret. Share photos and video testimonials related to community involvement with your current and prospective clients through social media, blogs, and newsletters.

Being involved in the community is just plain good for business. You get to know the culture of your city and its people. They get to know you and your employees get a chance to step away from their desks to give back. It’s a win-win for everyone.

At Depo International, we practice gratitude and share it with our clients and colleagues in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and Chicago. Learn more about how we are involved in the community on our Gratitude page.

Role of Paralegals in Depositions

Role of Paralegals in Depositions

The role of paralegals in depositions can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Whether the firm represents the witness or not, sound advice about how to answer questions and informing the witness about procedures can make them more comfortable the day of their deposition. Not only that, but paralegals understand legal procedure and are familiar with attorneys, court reporters, and even anxiety, especially of first-time deponents.

Role of Paralegals in Depositions

As an experienced team of Minneapolis court reporters like ours can tell you, most witnesses have never testified in a deposition before and even expert witness may take their “expert” role a little too far, assuming they know full well how to navigate deposition procedures. The role of paralegals in depositions is to accurately and transparently explain how the deposition procedure works so that the witness isn’t overly anxious or excited in the deposition.

  • Explain the purpose of a deposition, why they’ve been called as a witness, the reason it isn’t taking place in a courtroom, the role of a court reporter at a deposition, and where the testimony may be used.
  • How to respond to objections and when to let the attorneys sort things out.
  • The consequences of breaking rules of the deposition.

It may be best to make a checklist or one-pager to help them understand how they fit into the litigation puzzle.

Dealing with Attorneys, Court Reporters, and Anxiety

Attorneys often refer to the witness as the “person in the hot seat” but it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the greatest fears of people is public speaking and there’s little more intimidating than the fear of making a mistake in a room full of lawyers. No matter the circumstances surrounding the testimony, here are a few pieces of advice on dealing with attorneys, court reporters, and anxiety in depositions:

  • Pay Attention. Depositions often go on for hours or even days at a time and most of the “juicy” material typically comes at the end of the day when everyone is ready to go home (if they weren’t already to go when they got there). Stay focused and remind yourself where you are in the process is a good way to keep your composure.
  • Stay on Topic. It’s easy to become conversational in a deposition, but it’s not always appropriate. Remind your witness that every utterance is caught by the court reporter and even something as innocent as witty banter, hyperbole, or sarcasm might be misconstrued when read on a black and white transcript.
  • Understand Before Answering. No one likes to appear inexperienced but that’s often the case in a deposition setting. Rather than ask questions, some witnesses may try to answer a question they don’t fully understand. Instructing a witness to clarify when they don’t understand is one of the golden rules of depositions.
  • When Guessing is Okay. Guessing is for experts in most states, yet many non-expert witnesses will try to surmise something when they don’t have full knowledge. In this scenario, guessing is inappropriate and the witness should be instructed to only answer what they know with full confidence.
  • Staying Calm. Sometimes attorneys get frustrated during a deposition. Maybe it’s because of other attorneys, their own case or they aren’t getting the answers they expected. Stay calm and don’t allow others to make you uncomfortable.
  • Testifying is not Conversation. Attorneys may try to become too conversational with a witness, which makes the court reporter’s job (and the transcript) a nightmare. Leaving time for attorneys to argue during objections, and not speaking over one another is imperative to a good record. Speak at a reasonable pace and at a volume that can be heard by the entire room will also ensure that everything that is said is properly recorded by the reporter.

80% of Communication is Nonverbal

A transcript is black and white but body language can tell experienced attorneys a great deal more than the words that are coming out of the witness. Things like fidgeting, sweaty palms, or quick glances over to their attorney are all clues that a witness is nervous or untruthful.

  • Dress like you want to be taken seriously because, guess what? You’re being taken seriously. Leave the shorts and flip flops for the weekend and wear business or business casual attire, including closed toed shoes and neatly ironed clothes.
  • Good posture isn’t just important for the back, it also conveys a sense of confidence and truthfulness, especially when the deposition is being video recorded.
  • Emotions in all forms can give attorneys clues into what the witness is thinking, so avoiding behaviors that exhibit anger or frustration are specifically important to avoid.
  • A certain level of eye contact or lack thereof can leave an impression dishonesty.

Mock Depositions

Holding mock depositions are great ways to give your witness a taste of what it will be like in a real deposition without exposing them to opposing counsel. Mock depositions give a paralegal or their attorney the opportunity to play devil’s advocate with an inexperienced witness. Ask the tough questions in the context of a mock deposition scenario allows the witness to experience the pressure of having to think on their feet when they come across questions they didn’t expect.

The role of paralegals in depositions is to prepare witnesses, hold mock trials if time permits, manage witnesses especially first-time deponents and overzealous expert witnesses, and organize the attorney.

For more on this topic or to schedule a deposition with our team of experienced court reporters, please call Depo International at 702-386-9322.

Press Release: Court reporting firm Depo International is a sponsor of the 15th Annual NALS – Twin Cities Spring Seminar

Press Release: Court reporting firm Depo International is a sponsor of the 15th Annual NALS – Twin Cities Spring Seminar

This press release originally appeared here

Depo International, the leading Minneapolis-based court reporting firm, is pleased to announce their sponsorship of the 15th Annual NALS Twin Cities Spring Seminar taking place April 17, 2018 in the IDS Center. NALS…the association for legal professionals, includes paralegals, legal assistants, and legal secretaries and provides continuing education, advanced certifications, and networking opportunities.

“We are honored and delighted to be the sponsor of the NALS Twin Cities Annual Spring Seminar especially this year when our keynote speaker is City of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. He will be speaking about his passion for the city and continuing work on affordable housing, police-community relations, economic inclusion and diversity, and regionalism and cooperation. He believes in the correlation of hard work and success which is of particular interest to us at Depo International. As always, we’re excited to connect with our legal community to continue to build lasting, meaningful business relationships,” says DeAnne Brooks, Director of Business Development at Depo International.

The event is being hosted by Gray Plant Mooty, a Minneapolis-based full-service law firm. In addition to the mayor, speakers include Kristin Kingsbury, Esq. of Henningson & Snoxell speaking on Rules and Legal Compliance, Linda Crable of Yoga Alliance speaking on Workplace Wellness, and John Harmon of FR Secure speaking on Technology and Security.

Join DeAnne Brooks of Depo International, speakers, and NALS Twin Cities members on April 17, 2018. For additional information, visit www.NALSTwinCities.com.

Depo International is a woman-owned and operated court reporting firm with offices in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and Chicago. For more than 40 years, the team has been focused on connecting with the community through client appreciation events, CLE-certified educational seminars with speakers, monthly thank you events, holiday goodies and client celebrations. They strive to know their clients and let them know they’re appreciated. To learn more about the court reporting firm’s foundation of gratitude and appreciation, visit https://depointernational.com/gratitude/.

Five Reasons You Should Consider Remote Participation Depositions

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Five Reasons You Should Consider Remote Participation Depositions

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Remote participation depositions are playing an increasing role in the legal field. By using the latest technology including teleconferencing, video conferencing, video streaming and document digitizing, an attorney can depose out-of-town witnesses from the comfort of their own office.

Using remote deposition services can be extremely beneficial by saving the time and expense of traveling without compromising the ability to obtain important information from witnesses. Once attorneys have become familiar with this practice, they are like to find that the benefits of remote depositions far outweigh any drawbacks.

Productivity – A five-hour deposition in another state could turn into a 48-hour trip if you sleep over on either end of the journey. The time–not to mention the sleep loss, waiting in airports, and packing–constitutes lost productivity for you and your firm.

Better value for your client – When attorneys fly to and from depositions the travel can be costly for the client, especially if the travel is international. While you may want to depose key witnesses in person, remote depositions are extremely effective for witnesses or preliminary fact-gathering sessions. You can also save your client the expense of copying and shipping exhibits by including electronic exhibits in your remote deposition.

No personal time away from family – You can avoid traveling away from home for multiple days for a single deposition by having a remote deposition that will save time and money and will give you more time to spend with your family.

No high cost location rental fees – Video conference centers can charge up to $300 per hour to rent rooms compared to a cost of up to $150 for remote depositions.

Convenience – Depending on how your remote deposition is set up, you may be able to participate by simply clicking a button on your computer or walking down the hall to your firm’s conference room.

So the next time you have an out-of-town deposition, you may want to consider contacting Depo International to set up a remote deposition for you. If you would like a demonstration, please let us know. And of course, we will be here to help you every step along the way.

Minnesota Paralegal Week

Minnesota Paralegal Week

The Minnesota Paralegal Association (MPA) is a voluntary, non-profit professional association composed of paralegals living or working in the State of Minnesota dedicated to fostering the growth and development of the paralegal profession by:

●  Promoting a high standard of professionalism and ethics to the legal community and general public
●  Encouraging communication among paralegals and related organizations locally and nationally
●  Providing networking opportunities for our members
●  Supporting the ongoing education and professional development of paralegals
●  Maintaining relevancy in a changing world
●  Encouraging pro bono or community service involvement through MPA or other non-profit organizations
●  Promoting diversity of its members

Paralegal week starts off on Sunday May 20 with a Twins game! Come and “Catch” the Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field. On Monday there is a community service event preparing packages for Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids. MPA will be holding a trivia contest on Tuesday with answers found on their website. On Wednesday there is a happy hour at Tavern on France in Edina. The 2018 MPA Annual Convention will be held on Thursday at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park and they are expecting over 100 attendees with a great lineup of speakers. Be sure to stop by the DI booth and take a chance on our prize wheel!

The Benefits of Stress Relief for Court Reporters

The Benefits of Stress Relief for Court Reporters

Court Reporting can be a hard job! Not only is it stressful, but it can also be hard on the body. The back and neck can become tight and sore due to long periods of time spent in the same upright position. The mind can also become overworked and foggy.

It is important for court reporters to engage in regular, stress-relieving activities to continue to enjoy their profession and remain productive.

Stay Organized – One of the best ways to relieve stress is to make sure you develop a routine and stay organized. Make sure your steno bag is ready to go with all materials and is organized and well-stocked. After a deposition, mark your exhibits, clean up your transcripts, and get your files off to the scopist in a reasonable amount of time. Keeping a calendar and taking a moment to study it at the end of each day will be a helpful reminder of where you need to be at the correct time the following day.

Plan Your Day – Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule to see what jobs you have coming up and where you have free time. Some days will be busier than others so it is important to plan ahead and make sure you do not overwork yourself. By planning each day and week you can schedule down time to take breaks and rejuvenate yourself between jobs.

Take a Breather – One of the best ways to stay productive and on track is to take time for a breather at least once a day. Take at least 15-to-30 minutes to do something you enjoy each day. Go for a walk, listen to music, or read your favorite book for example. Also, make sure you eat a small snack, stretch, and take a few deep breaths when you have 5-to-10 free minutes throughout your day. It’s also important to take a few days off now and then. A short vacation allows you to leave your work at the office and focus on other things.

Be Selective – You do not have to take every job that is offered to you. If you know how to delegate appropriately, you take as many jobs as your staff can finish easily. If you are working on your own, however, taking too many jobs within a short period of time can lead to burn out and high levels of stress that can affect your job performance.

By practicing these techniques on a regular basis, court reporters can relieve the stress of their careers and enjoy all the benefits that come with the position—including a flexible schedule, job security and an exceptional earning capacity!

Press Release: Court Reporting Firm Depo International will be a proud sponsor at the Ramsey County Bar Golf Tournament

Press Release: Court Reporting Firm Depo International will be a proud sponsor at the Ramsey County Bar Golf Tournament

Court reporting firm Depo International is proud to participate as a sponsor in the Ramsey County Bar Golf Tournament on July 16, 2018. As a sponsor, Depo International is giving tournament participants the opportunity to win a $250 gift card. Depo International will be stationed at Hole 12. The participant that comes closest to the pin at that hole, will win a $250 gift card.

Dellwood Country Club in Dellwood, MN is the host site for the 2018 Ramsey County Bar Golf Tournament. Proceeds benefit the Ramsey County Bar Foundation. The RCBF annually awards grants to law-related charitable organizations such as The Children’s Law Center, The Minnesota Justice Foundation and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers.

As an official sponsor of the event, Depo International invites others to consider sponsoring individual activities or holes or signing up to play individually or as a group of four. The cost to sign up as a golfer is $150 for members, $175 for non-members; add $10 per person after June 17th.

Depo International is an active member in the legal community and enjoys sponsoring various local events. Recognized across the country as the “Trial Lawyers’ Choice,” Depo International has been providing legal videography, legal support, and court reporting services for four decades. Attorneys working with Depo International often report feeling the “DI Difference” because of the firm’s commitment to customer service. The court reporting firm also provides help with CLVS certified legal videographers, large case management, and trial consulting.

To learn more about the court reporting services offered by Depo International, please visit their website www.depointernational.com

Why Hire a Legal Videographer?

Why Hire a Legal Videographer?

Video is becoming increasingly important and effective for use on websites, social media, and online marketing but that’s not the only place where it can make a difference. Hire a legal videographer for your next deposition!

Why use a certified LVS to record testimony?

Legal videographers are trained in the 62 standards for legal video depositions. They’re certified by the Certified Legal Video Specialists (CLVS) Council of the National Court Reporters Association. In other words, they’re well-trained to handle your case. There are times when it just makes sense to have a video recording in addition to the written transcription.

Impeachment of a Witness

On television it’s easy for the cops and lawyers to catch a witness in a lie but it’s not that way in real life. Attorneys get to the heart of the matter, even if that means impeaching a witness by playing a video clip of their deposition in addition to reading the written transcript.

The jury can see the witness and their body language which tells a different story than what the words speak as they give one version of the events in question, and late giving another version of the story. It’s quite impactful but we couldn’t do it without legal videographers.

Witness Isn’t Available

You’re preparing for a trial and learn of a key witness that isn’t available on the trial date, what do you do? Rather than searching for another witness, hire a legal videographer to record witness testimony.

The Calming Effect

It has been our experience that having a legal videographer present calms witnesses and attorneys. They seem to be on better behavior than if there’s just a court reporter in the room. No one wants to see their bad behavior replayed later.

Whatever the reason, a legal videographer is an option for your next deposition. Contact us today to learn more!