Stenograph’s featured person this month is
Treasurer of Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc.
Why did you decide to enter the court reporting profession?
I got into court reporting 36 years ago when Doris O. Wong, my aunt, bought two Baron Data computers in 1977 and needed a computer manager to run them. Just out of college and unemployed, I was asked to fill in until she found someone to take over. I LOVED working on the computers and had fun making the systems sing. I never left.
What is your favorite thing about working in this field?
Though not a reporter, court reporting keeps evolving. For me it’s all about the technology. I have been on the Liaison Committee with Stenograph for over 20 years and enjoy working with development and leading-edge, innovative court reporters who love to brainstorm. How exciting to see the evolution of the software and writers over these many years.
Were there any hurdles you had to overcome in your career?
As the computer manager for the firm, the biggest hurdle is getting reporters to truly understand the software. We handle the computer setup and training in-house to ease the reporters into the software. My best advice to all reporters is to learn your software and be computer literate.
What advice would you give to new court reporters?
Find a firm who will train you on how to be professional court reporter. Additionally, invest in your equipment. This is your career. Pay your support contracts for your writer and software. The contracts not only pay for support but also for updates and development of future products.
What was the strangest case you have worked on?
We’ve had a few of them but one of the more memorable was when the defendant was suing the Commonwealth because he wanted special accommodations for a tape recorder and Braille machine. How was he blinded? The defendant was going through a nasty divorce and was distraught. Even with a restraining order filed by his wife, he enters the home and stabs her three times in the back. Trying to commit suicide and kill his wife and two daughters, he sets the house on fire. The wife and girls are able to get out of the house. He was not so lucky. He suffered second and third degree burns over 70% of his body and became blind. He is now serving a sentence of 36-80 years in jail.
What do you like to do outside of court reporting?
I love the outdoors especially in the summer. You’ll either find me in the garden or on the beach. I also enjoy cooking for my family, a good book, knitting and spending time with friends.