|Subject:||A Parisian Caper|
|Date:||Tue, 3 Oct 2017 12:59:59 -0700|
|From:||Atkinson-Baker Court Reporters <email@example.com>|
|To:||Jeffrey Goldstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
A PARISIAN CAPER
Kendall Lawrence was living her dream. She had a small flat on the West Bank in Paris, not a block from where Hemmingway lived in his “starving artist” days. She supported herself and funded her frequent European jaunts with her work as a multi-lingual court reporter. Kendall spoke English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
She was standing in front of Chez Fernand on Rue Guisarde, where she had just celebrated her birthday with coquilles St. Jacques — minced scallops in a wine and cream sauce, topped with grated cheese and browned under a broiler — a marvelous Chablis, and a crème brulee for dessert that made angels sing.
It was springtime in Paris. She almost felt like she was on a movie set. Her date, Jean Marc, an associate professor of literature at the School for Advance Studies in Social Sciences in Paris, had gone to get the car when her cell rang.
She looked at the face of the phone — Atkinson-Baker in Los Angeles. It was noon in LA, 9:00 p.m. in Paris.
She debated taking the call in the middle of a date. She looked over her shoulder and down the street but saw no sign of Jean Marc. She pressed accept.
The job involved plaintiff and defense attorneys from two prominent New York law firms. The witness was an American, an executive for a leading fashion brand, living in Paris. Lawyers from both sides were flying in for the depo next week.
“Sounds good,” Kendall said. “I’m away from my computer right now. Can you email me the specifics so I can put it in my scheduler when I get home?”
“No problem,” Mark said. “In this case, we don’t need your French language skills; we need your realtime expertise. Is all your software and equipment up to date?”
“Ready to go,” she said.
Realtime reporters are special. They have to be lightning fast, as they have to produce a readable transcript – in real time – calling for both speed and accuracy.
They are stenographers with specific computer skills. The stenographic machine in realtime reporting is connected to a laptop that is outfitted with special computer-aided transcription software that transcribes shorthand almost instantly.
Kendall was not only a multi-lingual court reporter, but a realtime reporter, as well.
The deposition was scheduled for Wednesday, the 6th, at a posh conference center on Haussmann Boulevard. A team of two attorneys and a paralegal from each firm had flown in on Monday, the 4th, with the intention to take a day to shake off the jet lag.
The plaintiff attorneys stayed at the Paris Marriott on the Champs-Elysees. The defense team was at the Radisson Blu.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 5th of May, Paris experienced a downpour the likes of which one might see in a rain forest. The rain poured in such volume that the window wipers on many cars could not keep up with the deluge. Drivers were literally driving blind.
And so it was that the driver of a new Citroen, later to be found as having had several glasses of wine for lunch, lost control of his car as he was negotiating an intersection. The car skidded across the rain-slicked avenue. The tail end of the now spinning car caught Kendall Lawrence as she was exiting a book store.
Kendall was slammed into the bookstore’s display window and lay unconscious for nearly 20 minutes before an ambulance dodged its way through the stalled traffic and reached her.
By 4:00 in the afternoon she was conscious, sitting up in bed in the Saint-Louis Hospital. Her ribs were bruised, but there were no broken bones. She was, however, woozy with periodic dizzy spells from a mild concussion.
She waited as long as she could to see if the dizzy spells would go away before calling Atkinson-Baker.
“I may be totally fine tomorrow,” she said to Mark, “but I can’t count on it, and, of course, neither should you. ”
“We’ll handle it, Kendall. You get better and, please, keep us posted on how you are doing.”
Mark flew into action. He structured a two-fold solution. First, he contacted Martell Williamson, a New York-based reporter with excellent realtime credentials. Martell would have to conduct his realtime reporting via a secure video link for the deposition on Wednesday.
Mark then contacted IT support at the conference center and arranged for Martell’s realtime reporting to be displayed via a video link right into the conference room. This would ensure the attorneys would have their realtime reporting.
As the depo was scheduled to continue for several days, he contacted Simone Markazie. Simone was a realtime reporter who was also based in New York. Simone was single and loved to travel.
Mark called and explained the situation. He needed her to catch a red eye out of JFK to Paris that night.
She would arrive Wednesday, have a day to adjust to the jet lag, and then be available for the in-person realtime reporting fromWednesday on.
“I’m in,” she said.
“Great. Your realtime software and equipment all up to date?” he asked.
“Like the day they were born,” she said.
Last, he called the client, the plaintiff attorney, and explained the circumstances and the solution that he had put in place.
“I’m fine with video feed tomorrow. The more important timing for the realtime will be Thursday and Friday. And Saturday, if needed.”
“We’ve got you covered. Martell will hook up from New York tomorrow, and Simone will be there in person from Thursday on.”
The realtime reporting came off without a hitch. The client was delighted.
Kendall Lawrence got over the dizzy spells. She subsequently married Jean Marc, and Paris became her home, though it always seems to her like she is on vacation there.
(We hope you enjoy the stories from the archives of Atkinson-Baker Court Reporters. We do change the names and locations of the stories, but the basic plots are true.)
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