Law, Technology

How Court Reporting Is Defying the Automation Trend

While automation and various technological provocations are changing the American workplace and influencing the workforce, court reporting, aka “stenography”, is one of those old-fashioned professions that remains largely un-affected by this phenomenon. Court reporters have benefited in a significant way by embracing key technologies and maintaining the traditional values of professionalism, punctuality and other traits.

There are many reasons why.

Let’s begin with the simple fact that nothing can replace a human being when it comes to analytical judgement and improvised interaction. For court reporting firms and organizations like the National Network Reporting Company (NNRC), the importance of having a trusted reporter, videographer and litigation or trial support professional has in fact increased over time.

Thanks to the increase of litigation in the fields of business law, medical malpractice, probate law and other areas of practice, the sheer volume of requests for deposition experts has increased in a corresponding number as the American economy grows. This means that court reporting firms large and small, are experiencing a sort of renaissance, even as many of the combat the expansion of mega-firms.

While developments like automatic checkout (without the presence of a cashier) and electronic banking, have heavily negatively impacted the job force, forcing many people to look for new careers, the legal professions as diverse as expert witnesses, videographers, stenographers, marketers and others have all experienced a steady and improved series of workload increases.

Joe Grabowski of Gore Brothers Reporting and an NNRC Board Member, explains this phenomenon:

Our clients are very keen as to the impact of technology in their cases. Between video depositions and the ability to schedule a court reporting service from a smartphone, we have found that the conservative nature of the reporting industry is benefited from a basic understanding of the changing nature of technology, from the use of mobile-friendly websites to 24/7 scheduling abilities. While court reporters are essential to the legal team an attorney puts together, we have still emphasized the importance of embracing the right technologies to give us an advanced position relative to our competitors within the industry. 

What distinguishes court reporters and doctors from other replaceable professions is the simple fact that nothing can replace an experienced professional when it comes to transcribing, editing and providing printed documents for depositions, trial records, and other materials.

Add to this need the importance of competent and experienced members to form a strong legal team and develop a winning case and one can see why attorneys are always looking for reliable reporting firms.

Technology has, however, impacted the reporting profession in other ways. First, the importance of mobile booking for last minute schedulings of services has made on-the-go paralegals and lawyers much more fluid in how they manage their cases. The development of tele-conferences and electronic online records also means travel and mailing (snail mail that is) are less and less important.

The Business of Estate Planning: Plan Ahead Before It’s Too Late

Estate planning will never win awards at the family dinner for most exciting topic. However preparing for the future is always a prudent decision for yourself and your family. The idea of wills and trusts may sound like some old arcane financial jargon but in reality if you own a home, a car, or other assets, chances are you will want a say in how your belongings and money are passed on once you pass away.

Mark Shalloway: A Wills & Trusts Expert

Estate Attorney Mark Shalloway

This is where estate planning comes. Estate planning attorney Mark Shalloway of Shalloway & Shalloway explains the importance of getting your “affairs in order”:

Most people make the mistake of thinking they can wait on planning for their will or trust until well into their 60s or later. In most cases it’s best to start planning for your estate by the time you are in your 30s. You can always make changes as your life and financial situations changes. For folks worrying about care for their loved ones, the elderly, or people with special needs, planning ahead is more important than ever to avoid unnecessary emotional trauma and tax liability. 

Plan Ahead for Your Legacy

Whether you are single or married preparing for your estate is a matter of ensuring your life’s work and legacy ends up in the right hands. The business of estate planning can be complicated. Between tax liabilities, the several options involving annuities and trusts, it is wise to hire an attorney in your area who specializes in these matters before making your decisions or attempting to manage the process on your own.

Our estates are our legacy and our gifts to those loved ones we leave behind. The complicated process of estate planning is made much easier when we enlist the wisdom, knowledge and experiences of an attorney to help us with this singularly important task.

Politics

How A Mayor Can Help Turn the Tide During Natural Disasters

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, a storm spanning more than 400 miles and large enough to cover the entire state of Florida, residents have been looking towards local politicians for leadership and advice more than ever before. As on-the-ground, concerned fellow citizens who will be riding out the storm with everyone else, local mayors like Barbara Sharief have worked tirelessly both before and after the storm to ensure that everyone weathers the storm as safely as possible.

Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Preventative measures like setting and enforcing a curfew; and opening up hurricane shelters to the homeless and those without homes able to withstand the predicted wind force, helped to reduce casualties and keep the roads clear. In addition, mayors like Sharief had local Florida Power, and Light (FPL) workers standing by to begin repairs as soon as the storm had passed, negating the possibility of delayed response times becoming an issue. Most importantly, keeping your residents updated on the facts and keeping calm help to assure that residents follow instructions in an orderly fashion.

 

 

And then began the real test: surviving after the storm. Broward County is unique in its use of online features to help residents report damage to their properties, which also helps first responders to more rapidly zero in on devastated areas most in need of help. Known as the Home Damage Assessment Program, Broward County residents can report damage to their homes and any current flooding happening in their area. The site has pictures showing four levels of damage: no damage; major damage, habitable; major damage, uninhabitable; and destroyed. Residents are asked to pick the one that most closely resembles what they’ve experienced.

Mayor Barbara Sharief was also quick to rescind the county curfew, something she received a bit of flack over from other Florida mayors. “Our goal right now is recovery and restoration, and that means that we need to get people back to work, get essential personnel back to work, get relief for the people who worked for the five days through the storm and get the businesses back up and running,” she said. “No curfew right now is necessary.”

 

By rescinding the curfew, Broward County’s FPL workers were able to restore power to over 310,000 residents only 48 hours after Irma’s passing, leaving approximately 500,000 without power. The following Monday that number had been reduced to 13,000 and was shrinking rapidly. By Monday, students were able to return to their classrooms as well.

“We cleared the roads fairly quickly. We cleared all the major highways first and then we cleared all the city roads. So those are cleared rather quickly. The kids are all gone back to school back today. The biggest hurdle we had to get over last week was that the kids had – there was no power to the schools, some of the schools. So we had to wait for the power to be restored in order for the kids to return to school. So they’re back. My kids went off to school this morning so everything’s great there,” said Sharief.

 

We criticize our political leaders all too frequently, and often deservedly. But Florida politicians like Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief represent the very best of those who are elected to serve the public in the common and greater good.

 

Health

Today’s Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors Are Not You Mom’s Physicians

It used to be that you could count on your family doctor to know everything important about little Jimmy’s health history. Back in the day, say 1988, healthcare was a bit simpler and specialized medicine was not quite as pervasive and common as it is today.

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors: Today’s Forward-Thinkers in Health Care

Otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) are among those specialist physicians who have carved out a bold new niche in the healthcare industry with a variety of unique treatments and procedures ranging from balloon sinuplasty to surgical repair of deviated septums and rhinoplasty, a cosmetic surgery procedures.

Ear, Nose and Throat  physicians must master a complex part of the body: the head and its inner workings from sinus passages to breathing flow in the mouth to hearing and ear canals and drums. The complex series of possible traumas and ailments is unique in the medical field and helps explain the singular position otolaryngologists maintain in the health and beauty industries.

Balloon Sinuplasty: A Technologically-Advanced, Safe Procedure

Physicians such as Dr. Wilson DuMornay in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are adept at keeping pace with the latest medical advances within their field, be they new medications to facilitate nasal air flow or new techniques in treating sleep apnea, a condition that affects over 58 million Americans and can be linked to everything from heart conditions to chronic fatigue and obesity.

Regarding the new trends in treating breathing and nasal blockages Dr. DuMornay comments: “I believe balloon sinuplasty is changing the way we think about treating chronic allergies and disorders related to bad breathing. Balloon Sinuplasty is changing the game for our patients because it safely increases breathing efficiency through the nose in a safe procedure that takes place in less than two hours in our offices.”

How exactly are otolaryngologists leading the way in healthcare when it comes to embracing technology? The results are enormously fascinating. Examples include mobile-friendly scheduling of appointments complete with downloadable .PDF documents (those pesky doctor forms you fill out at the waiting room); and increasingly safe medications that limit dosages and minimize patient healing for everything from surgical scars to nasal treatments.

American business relies in greater and great part on healthcare as a job creator. It is estimated that more than 23% of the full time workforce in the United States is employed in some healthcare capacity. The future is bright for doctors, nurses, and all the peripheral professionals in medicine.

 

Health

Medical Weight Loss Clinics Embrace New Technologies

It’s no secret that weight loss is a huge industry for everyone from pharmaceutical companies to doctors and food companies. Medical weight loss clinics alone account for more than 40% of the total revenues in the health and fitness sector of the weight loss economy. Medical weight loss doctors have become one of the more powerful niche health and beauty professionals in America.

With a record number of Americans suffering from diabetes, obesity and chronic weight gain, the road to healthy living and losing weight is varied and profitable. With a business model that feeds both rural and urban populations, medical weight loss and its diverse interests offer patients a variety of options for addressing their weight concerns, healthcare and even in many cases beauty.

New Trends in Weight Loss Treatment, Health and Beauty

For example, Advanced Weight Loss in Corpus Christi, Texas, home of medical director Dr. Dale Eubank, is one of the more technologically-savvy operators offering everything from their unique Serotonin Plus weight loss treatment to beauty and health treatments such as vaginal rejuvenation and bio-hormone therapy. By combining the various avenues of their treatments with sophisticated social media and online marketing techniques, the Advanced Weight Loss has become one of the dominant medi-spas and medical weight loss centers in Texas.

Dr. Eubank explains: “We wanted to create a safe and effective way for our patients to stay healthy, address their weight issues and help themselves feel and live better. We found the Serotonin Plus system to be powerful and very safe for treating patients who have had a difficult time dropping extra weight.”

What Is a Medi-Spa?

One of the more recent trends in the world of health and beauty care is the fusion of plastic and cosmetic surgery beauty treatments, from facelifts and breast augmentations with health care treatments such as weight loss or skincare.

This fusion of beauty has resulted an even more blurred line between essential health care and beauty care. The term “medi-spa” generally refers to a clinic or center that combines the pampered care of hairstyling and skincare with weight loss or plastic surgery and botox treatments.

The results vary but one of the key ingredients in the successful endeavors by doctors is the judicious use of new technologies like Serotonin Plus, SculpSure, Botox, and other treatments.

Earnings at these facilities are said to be over $5 Billion annually in the United States alone. These figures don’t include sole practitioners and clinics offering solely plastic and cosmetic surgery.

One thing is true, the fusion of health and beauty care will always be tied to the use of new drugs, technologies and other advancements in science.

 

Lifestyles

The Future of Elder Care

Life has a way of presenting us with new challenges and illuminating our paths to old age. We are born into this world relying on our parents and other loved ones for survival. It takes decades of life experiences to understand the magnitude and love behind parenting.

Eventually we hit our 40s, get married, establish a career and then, lo and behold we are hit with the epic scope of being parents ourselves. What we rarely, if ever consider in our journeys through life as young people, is the evolution from child to care giver for our parents.

Our Future as Care Givers

We never picture our parents needing to rely on us when we are little. But time and age have a way of humbling us, of teaching us that to care for our parents is one of the greatest acts of reciprocal and unconditional love we can experience. It is akin to caring for ones children, yet somehow very different in dynamic.

For businesses in states with high retiree populations (think Florida, Arizona and New Mexico) elder care has become a big industry. It is estimated that over 78% of Americans will need some sort of paid, out-of-pocket form of nursing care once they reach the age of 65.

The Importance of Elder Care Legal Advice

To make matters more interesting, the legalities of insurance, taxes, wills, and other variables in the lives of the elderly can seem increasingly complex and difficult to manage. When you are not proficient in the laws and options within your state concerning your home, finances, and estate, it is very difficult to make the smart, best choices for your life and for your heirs.

This is where attorneys specializing in elder care, wills and trusts, and special needs care fill a much-needed niche in both the legal and elder communities. Lawyers like Mark Shalloway of Shalloway & Shalloway provide special services in the form counsel on everything from inheritance tax liability to insurance options for the elderly.

On the increasing importance of understanding the variables and vagaries of caring for our elder loved ones Mr. Shalloway says: “The time at which we need to think about caring for our parents has a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it and while we are in the midst of our lives. It’s best to plan ahead regarding retirement care, nursing homes and healthcare for our elderly loved ones.”

Elder Care in the American Economy

For American businesses, consultancies and companies specializing in everything from nursing care, hospice and Alzheimer’s care have made a bigger impact in state economies than could have been predicted even twenty years ago. These industries employ increasingly more numbers within our workforce and provide well-paying jobs, often with benefits. Between the legal and health care spheres of our economy, elder care and special needs care represent a large portion of the financial picture.

Broward Means Business: How Mayor Barbara Sharief Employs Social Media to Better Her Constituency

If you ever want to see how social media can be utilized to promote a region’s economy, bring attention to its cultural centers, and spread the good word, all by a political figure at the local level,  go to Barbara Sharief’s Facebook page.

Barbara Sharief is the Mayor of Broward County and one of the up and comers in the world of Florida politics. What makes her compelling for businesses large and small is her savvy, frequent, and high quality social media presence. Between her Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages, Barbara Sharief highlights not only her career accomplishments, inevitable public appearances, and family gatherings to personalize herself and her identity in the eyes of her constituents, she also provides a great platform to learn about events and happenings in the Greater Broward County area. In the process, the Mayor offers a master class in accessible, fun, and informative postings.

Whereas most political use of social media is either mind-numbingly neutral or highly offensive (both intellectually and morally) (we won’t name names), Mayor Sharief demonstrates the power of social media to communicate ideas and inform people from all walks of life, regardless of identity, financial background or geographic location.

For example, her Facebook page recently offered moving photos of her proclamations for the “Broward Means Business Initiative,” a poignant and highly impactful series of posts that highlight successful local businesses such as ibrow Spa and the Flashback Diner. These and other businesses are featured as well in Barbara Sharief’s excellent Pinterest page, where readers will find posts and photos related to local restaurants, hotels, and beaches.

Getting social media right requires the correct blend of content dedicated to oneself and to others. It requires an understanding of one’s community and target audience. Mayor Barbara Sharief hits home runs on both marks. Her community and her businesses are fortunate.