In the world of transcribing, there may be none as important as the legal transcriptionist. Not only are they charged with the responsibility to record legal interviews for hearings, motions, pleadings, depositions, legal argument, and judgments, there are countless other topics that these transcribers must document accurately, efficiently, and without any pause.
The major reason that legal transcription is so important is because it can be used as evidence in an important case. Not only that, it can also be used for future reference for possible repeat offenders in some instances. These transcriptionists will sit for hours on end, documenting each word that is said between legal parties. While in some cases, it may be done through a recording of the legal movement; it is often times done live and without any ability to pause in typing.
Unlike other forms of transcription, legal transcriptionists often times will type on specialized transcription equipment, rather than on a computer. The major reason for this is because if the power goes out, or if there is a technical error during a court hearing, there is no way for the transcriptionist to get back any lost files, which may have actually sent a criminal to their rightful place.
While there are many freelance transcription jobs out there, legal transcription is not one of them. Legal transcription often times requires years of college education, but why? Well, with something so important on the line, there is no room for a rookie error. Typically, these people are hired after schooling and years of transcription work under their belts. However, it is possible to get them fresh out of college as well if you show potential in accuracy and speed.
If the court or company that is needing legal transcription doesn’t have an in-house transcriptionist, they will often times hire from one of the many different transcription companies housed in each state and country in the world. This is mostly because if they hire in, they do not need to pay an hourly or salaried employee when there is no work to be done in transcribing.
On the flip side of the coin, if you’re a hiring law firm or someone else who may need legal transcribing? It is quite easy to find a legal transcriptionist these days with the invention of the Internet. It seems they are a dime a dozen when you know just how and where to look.
Of course as with anything else that is for sale, whether it be time, goods, or transcribing, the prices will vary from place to place. However, just because it is affordable, won’t mean it is bad. Just like if it is extraordinarily expensive, will it be good. The most important thing to do is to look for the credentials of both the individual who will be performing the legal transcribing and the company, which employs them. Remember; protect yourself from scams, even a company with good standing in the legal world can get scammed online. Know the company that you are hiring for legal transcription!
Parents have a sixth sense that warns us when a small child has been too quiet for too long. We call out “What are you doing?” and the little munchkin chirps back, “I’m helping you! I’m washing all the nice china!”
The next thing we hear is a loud crash.
So it goes with President Obama and the current Congress. They want to help, but they just can’t keep from breaking the dishes.
Take, for example, their latest effort to ensure that investors get adequate information from credit rating agencies. The legislative fix was included in the recently passed financial regulatory reform act.
Thanks to this particular reform, would-be buyers of the affected securities now receive no ratings at all. Oops.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has for a long time required asset-backed securities to have ratings from established agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s or Fitch. Asset-backed securities are instruments such as auto loans that are packaged into bonds before being sold to investors.
When the credit markets crashed, it became evident that many of these securities were riskier than the agencies had thought. The bonds lost their Triple-A ratings, and their values plummeted. Investors lost a lot of money.
The financial legislation that Obama signed on July 21 attempts to make the credit ratings agencies more accountable for their perceived failures. These firms now are exposed to claims of “expert liability,” the same legal risks facing accountants and other parties involved in bond sales.
The agencies’ response was quick and definitive. They stopped letting bond-sellers use their ratings. Rating agencies do not have crystal balls. Sooner or later a security they’d rated highly would be bound to default, leaving the raters on the hook under the new standard. The only way the agencies could ensure that they would never be wrong was to get out of the guessing game.
This was a potentially shattering development for the president and his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill. One of the keys to getting the economy rolling again is to restore a healthy flow of credit, as voters are likely to remind Washington in November. Asset-backed securities are essential to the credit market because they allow lenders to quickly recoup most of their funds so they can lend again.
But SEC rules require the investment bankers who create such securities to have them rated, and the new law made this impossible by prompting the rating agencies to quit a game that now seemed rigged against them. The market for these asset-backed securities was immediately dead in the water.
As a result, the SEC temporarily suspended the rule requiring securities to be rated.(1) This six-month suspension, in theory, is to allow credit rating agencies to implement policy changes to comply with the new law. In the meantime, securities will be sold without ratings.
What will be different in six months? Nothing, other than the upcoming elections will be history – though the SEC would never acknowledge that political considerations enter into its rule making.
Actually, one more thing will be different six months from now: we will have a new Congress. Maybe the incoming group of legislators will be mature enough to fix the new law so the ratings agencies will conclude it is safe to re-enter this line of business.
Or the SEC might just let the marketplace decide whether it needs ratings at all. If the asset-backed securities market can function during the next six months without ratings, then the original SEC requirement will be exposed as having been pointless, and the new liability standard will stand as nothing more than an attempt to give unhappy investors one more deep pocket to sue.
It’s pretty upsetting when valuable things get broken, and it’s easy to get mad if you have repeatedly warned your little tyke to stay out of the china closet. But we must be patient with little children, inexperienced presidents and congressional Democrats. They are only trying to help.
(1) Bloomberg Business Week: SEC Grants Six-Month Delay on Asset-Backed Ratings Disclosure
Satellite Television is such an awesome thing to have. For those of you that dont know what satellite tv is, it is a communication between satellites around the world that pick up every single station you can think of and it is delivered straght to your tv. While satellite tv can be pretty costly with all of the monthly charges, it is definitely a whole new experience for the televison viewers.
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