Today’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week featured reporter is very familiar with the spotlight, having worked on high-profile cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Meet Dina Currado, CSR, LCR, and learn about her adventures in court reporting. Dina, we’re proud to serve you! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.
How long have you been a court reporter? I have been a court reporter for 25 years.
What led you to a career in stenography? After high school, I tried traditional community college and just didn’t like it at all. I was working full time at Costco and my friend told me about court reporting. I called my local school at the time, Merit College of Court Reporting, and got a tour. Two weeks later, I was sitting in day one of theory class hoping I made the right decision. Best decision of my life!
What is the most rewarding part of your career? Even though I’ve been doing the same “job” for 25 years, I have been able to have so many experiences from doing depositions to criminal and civil trials. I also have provided transcripts to the media for live celebrity interviews that included flying to New York City and in Los Angeles to be on TV sets and in nice hotels getting to meet lots of celebrities. So many great memories! I also feel lucky that I can support my family on my salary alone if need be.
What advice would you give a prospective student looking to enter the profession? This is a great career and I have no regrets! Don’t get caught up in how long it will take you or what other people tell you the time frame is. You will go at your own pace. Some days will be easy. Some days will be hard. Just keep on going and never give up. There were many car rides home in tears for me trying to pass speed tests and the qualifier. Nerves got in my way, but you will learn to focus and keep writing past nerves. Just never give up!
What was the best job you’ve ever taken or show you’ve captioned? My general answer to this question would be getting hired by Los Angeles Superior Court as an official. Working in criminal court has been my favorite. I did a high-profile murder trial that was featured on Dateline, “The Girl in the Blue Mustang.” They were in our courtroom for three weeks filming. I also did some high-profile civil trials as well, including “Sam Lutfi vs. Britney Spears” and “Bryan Stow vs. The Los Angeles Dodgers.” In 2012, we were laid off due to budget restraints and it was devastating. I then started the very next week doing civil trials and hearings privately as an independent contractor and even started making more money. It was a blessing in disguise. I have a quote in my office on the wall that says “Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things came come together. Marilyn Monroe.”
What was the most important thing you learned in 2020? As with the rest of the world, COVID changed everything. When I first moved to Knoxville, TN in June 2019, I was commuting each month for about a week at a time to Los Angeles because I loved my job and I was able to work it out. That all changed in March of 2020 when the shutdown happened. I started realizing a couple of months later that Tennessee would open back up before California. I reached out to Max Curry and he put me in touch with the right people to get my Tennessee court reporting license. Then he took me on as a staff/preferred reporter with his agency Elite-Brentwood Reporting Services that has clients all over the state. I am now working exclusively in Tennessee close to home doing jobs both in person and on Zoom and I’m extremely grateful to Max and to be working for such a great agency with great clients.
What is the best show you watched on Netflix in 2020? I am a big fan of the series Ozark.
Do you have pets? I have a Shih-Tzu dog name Stuart, who is 13 years old.