Beyond the Record with JoRita Meyer

LiveDeposition Certified Reporter Spotlight

 LiveDeposition Certified Reporter Spotlight JoRita Meyer

Name: JoRita Meyer

Title:  Freelance Realtime Court Reporter


Self-summary in three words:
Hard-working, loyal, flexible

When did you begin your court reporting career?
May 1981

What sparked your interest in choosing court reporting as a profession?
My father brought home two steno machines purchased at a yard sale after I told him I got paired up with a court reporter playing beach volleyball and she just got a job starting at 40K. She had given me an NCRA magazine and I really liked what I saw. I looked into it and enrolled in a program in Richmond, VA. The program was discontinued after my first semester so I moved to Atlanta and enrolled in Brown. I always loved books and words so it was right up my alley. And I was definitely looking for a job where I could make enough money so I would never be dependent on anyone else to provide for me. It was a perfect fit.

What advice would you give students or those just entering the field of Court Reporting?
I’ll pass on some of the simplest and best advice I ever got. Do the work and the money will come naturally. Just do the work. I will also always remember the inspiration I got from that Nike commercial where the woman is running up the hill, alone, in the dark, in silence, with the tag line “Just Do It.” Yep. And write short!! If an outline gives you a problem, dump it and find something that works.

What is your favorite thing about being a reporter?
The wallpaper changes all the time. I need the variety and the ever-changing subject matter and this profession certainly provides for that. I thrive on the autonomy I enjoy in this profession. I can work when I want to and I have the flexibility to do other things when I need to. In the last couple of years I have had great challenges with family members being gravely ill and I have still been able to make a very comfortable amount of income in spite of taking off extra time.

As a Court Reporter, what is your worst nightmare or biggest pet peeve?
Worst nightmare? Equipment malfunction, of course. Thankfully, I come from the old school and can do it without the technology, but I hope I never have to again. Biggest pet peeve(s)? 1. Lack of transparency in dealing with firms. 2. People calling themselves court reporters who are not qualified to do so. 3. Stale/stagnant income capability due to giveaways. 4. This is the BIG one. Realtime and rough draft are two separate services and both should be billed for and compensated. Realtime is screen time on the spot; rough draft means you walk away with a product.

Where is the strangest place you have taken a deposition?
Back of a sausage packing plant with an overturned bucket for a chair.

What is the funniest thing you have heard during a deposition or in the courtroom?
“Say not another word and sit down, counselor; that is, unless you want me to rule against you.” “Thank you, Your Honor.” “Overruled.”

When not court reporting, how do you spend your free time?
Exercising. You have to be fit to sit. I love being home with my family and pets. I have a large circle of girlfriends I enjoy being with too. None of them are court reporters! Although, I do have many court reporter friends too, but I spend my time balancing my energies.

What do you like most about LiveDeposition?
It’s flawless! No more worries. Accessibility to Steve. The company listens to my suggestions.

Anything else you would like to share?
There is a lot of negativity in and around the profession of court reporting these days, for all kinds of reasons. But I have to say I love my job and can’t imagine ever having done anything else. I look forward to the new innovations in this field and I hold out positivity for the future generations of court reporters. Remember, energy follows thought. Think positively for positive results!