Need Shorthand Note Taker in Houston This Week

We have a need for a shorthand stenographer (a pen writer, or pen stenographer) to take virtually verbatim notes for counsel at a highly confidential hearing in Houston this Wednesday.  Price is not an issue.  Transportation, hotel, meals, and other expenses covered.
If you have someone who can take shorthand during a hearing and is willing to devote a day next week (Oct. 18) to doing that, plus travel to and from, and transcribe notes to typewritten form for counsel, we would be happy to talk with you.
Ellis Mirsky
General Counsel and Executive Director
The Network of Trial Law Firms
914-332-4400 office

(by emirsky for everyone)

17 comments Add yours
  1. John:

    I wonder how many wpm is considered "verbatim"?

    I'd guess it would have to be 150wpm or more; any ideas?

    With that in mind, I don't know a single person who can write that fast, either Pitman or Gregg.

    I know three people who can write 140wpm–two Pitman writers and one Gregg-ite, if you don't count our ShorthandMarc. He says, however, he's lost some of his speed over the years.

  2. I'm not sure why the requirement for a pen stenographer, since pen stenographers who are certifed to write at verbatim speeds are particularly rare in the US.  I would've thought contacting the Texas Court Reporters Association ( would be the way to go – although you'd get a machine stenographer, not pen.   As to the question of what is considered verbatim – not a simple one to answer! It's easier to establish the minimum certifications a reporter must have to be considered as verbatim.   In the US, the minimum certification by the National Court Reporters Association is the RPR exam, which consists of a written test, plus 3 dictations of: literary matter at 180 wpm, jury charge at 200 wpm, and testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm These must be transcribed at 95% accuracy.   In the UK, the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters  ( certifies reporters at a minimum speed of 180wpm literary material at, I believe, 97% accuracy.   Both these organisations certify both pen and machine stenographers.   Over here in the UK, there are still quite a number of pen stenographers, using Pitman.  Although she's moved over to machine shorthand, my 'teacher' wrote/writes Pitman at 240wpm! Wow.   Ian

  3. Welcome to the group, V-Lindsay. I'm very impressed you can write DJ fast enough to pass your court reporting exams. I thought there weren't any pen stenographers left in court reporting and am encouraged!   Sidhetaba

  4. Thanks for the welcome, sidehetaba. There are some penwriters left in my state; however, at our continuing education seminars we don't have shorthand classes anymore. The classes are all for machine writers who either do real time or are working toward real time. Those of us who still are penwriters don't ever want to give it up but may be forced to learn machine shorthand to stay with the job. We have a court reporter in our organization who can do both – the machine and pen shorthand. She was at a deposition when the lights went out. The attorneys were talking about suspending the deposition because of the electricity for the machine (it does have battery backup). The court reporter calmly picked up her pen and pulled a pad out of her briefcase and told the attorneys they could continue. Love that story.

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