HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER IN COURT REPORTING?
With a smile and a prayer! My dad had been a corporate representative in some legal matters during his career and suggested court reporting to me because I had a knack for shorthand and typing in high school. My kids were young, I could go to school during the day or at night, it looked interesting, so I gave it a try. Here I am, 19 years later. It is still the best career for me.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO COOK AND WILEY?
Jeanne and her wonderful staff, of course! Jeanne is able to offer me the flexibility I like to have. C&W is up-to-date with the technology out there that makes my life easier as a court reporter (thanks to JW, Cheryl, Jennifer and Risa) and my fellow reporters are the best.
WHAT INTERESTING OR MEMORABLE MOMENT HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED WHILE COURT REPORTING?
Wow, that is really hard to pinpoint. My first ten years of reporting, I did primarily criminal work and I found that to be really interesting. There was the time the defendant had “accidentally” stabbed his girlfriend 40 times, another time a defendant was so upset with the verdict that a scuffle ensued and the judge was ordered to his chambers by the bailiff, I followed the judge just like a little minion.
The better moments are when I see a judge’s tender side. Judge Hicks, in Henrico, finalized an adoption and spoke of the joys and responsibilities of the parent-child relationship such that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, then he posed with the family for pictures! And the time Judge Markow, in Richmond, gracefully granted a request from a grandmother for a small advancement of a child’s settlement so that the child could have a new mattress. I’ve been at the federal courthouse on the day when the naturalization ceremony takes place, that’s quite exciting. As a court reporter, I get to see so many lives.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW COURT REPORTER?
Always have a snack in your bag and build working relationships with the bailiffs, clerks, and assistants—they’re the ones that run the show.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
Call one of my four kids, they’ll know. That’s what my husband does.