Connect Series: Meet Business Development Coordinator Kiran Deol

Kiran Deol Business Development

Kiran joined Reportex after about 10 years in legal administration and then as a hybrid paralegal. She has seen the legal world change dramatically, especially in the technological applications it uses, and was keen to stay on top of the ever-changing playing field. Her background in the legal field and her tech savviness have made her a great asset as our business development coordinator. She works closely with our business development team on marketing initiatives and creative content and has been the face of Reportex at the many events and seminars we attend and sponsor.

Kiran, however, is now stepping away for a bit to head into a brand-new adventure as a soon-to-be mom of twins! We are so thrilled for her, and we can’t wait to see these tiny new members of the Reportex family.

Your time as business development coordinator has seen a lot of dramatic changes (thanks, COVID-19) in how everyone was doing their jobs and living their lives.  What was the biggest adjustment you had to make, and how did you manage to keep all the balls in the air?

I joined Reportex at the beginning of this pandemic, accepting the job while the whole world went into lockdown mode. To say the least, I did not know what I was getting myself into or what to expect. Since a year ago there have been many adjustments — from holding 10 virtual proceedings at a time via Zoom to accepting the business development role and coming up with new ideas to help navigate our clients through this unprecedented time. The biggest adjustment for me was to roll with the punches. No day was the same as new challenges arose weekly, but working with a team such as our tech team made it easy to navigate through. 

Like it was for everyone else, working from home was an adjustment, but it came easy to me and gave me a great balance to my life. Saying that, the biggest adjustment was helping everyone else adapt to their new lives and to keep them working in the smoothest way possible!

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

All of these core values have become something I breathe every day, especially with our current expansion and keeping in mind what Reportex stands for. In the last year “team,” “mentorship” and “industry” stick out the most. 

At the time I joined Reportex, “team” was a big deal! I have never worked with such a great group of people that will do anything to help each other out. During the lockdown we were taking things in stride but as a team would always pull through and make things happen smoothly!

Shortly after joining Reportex, I accepted the business development role. I’ve excelled in this group because of the mentorship I received from my team. Having each other’s backs and having an open communication process without ever seeing each other in person is hard to come by. 

And “industry”! The legal industry has changed drastically in the last year — more than it has in the decade I have worked in the legal world. Reportex is all about the industry and being on top of all the latest trends and finding ways to keep people working without additional stress. To be a part of a company that is making such a positive impact in the legal industry is humbling.

We have been talking a bit about wellness on the blog and through our Slack channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying well?

Wellness has always been a huge part of my life, but I have always struggled with the balance of work/life as well as keeping my mental and physical state in check. Reportex has made this easier for me to do as we incorporate wellness into our daily lives constantly. With our monthly challenges and daily check-ins wellness has become a daily practice for me. When I found out I was pregnant with TWINS! I knew I could tackle this new adventure in my life because of how I was taking care of myself with the support of my peers. Wellness has become the most important practice while being pregnant because as we all know, it is harder than normal to keep a positive mindset.

My favourite ways to recharge have to be meditation and journaling. Being grateful for all I have and working that into my meditation and journaling has really helped with my balance between life and work.

My biggest tip to staying well is gratitude. If you journal like me, write down three things you are grateful for each day even if it is as little as your morning coffee or a beautiful sunny day! If you don’t journal, verbalizing when you are thankful for something is helpful. For example, thank your husband for vacuuming so you didn’t have to do it! Just be grateful for the little things in life that you have and never concentrate on the things you want. If I have learned anything in the last year, it’s that the things you want magically appear.

As you head into this new adventure as a mom, can you tell us what you will miss about reporting into Reportex every day?

This new adventure excites and scares me at the same time! I have never not worked since I was 17, so it will be an odd transition; however, I can only imagine this will be the busiest, most rewarding year of my life.

I will miss our many channels on Slack when I would take a break from being in the zone and check in on the “pets of Reportex” or “just for fun” channels! There are only a handful of people I have met in person, but I feel like I have known all of my co-workers for years because of all the constant communication. 

I will also miss all the familiar faces I see via Zoom, mainly all our friendly mediators with whom I have become very familiar in the last year. 

Lastly, I will miss my team! They have been so supportive and understanding throughout this pregnancy, and I couldn’t have asked for more. I know we will all keep in touch, and I will keep everyone updated on all things “mom.” Maybe I’ll surprisingly pop into one of our Tuesday weekly meetings stay tuned!

We are going to miss you too, Kiran, and we are so thankful for the groundwork you have helped lay out for the many new ventures on the horizon at Reportex. We are so thrilled for you and your husband, and we cannot wait to see photos of babies as soon as possible!

Feeling Anxious: You Are Not Alone

By Kiran Deol, Business Development Coordinator

A major theme throughout our blog, especially this past year, has been wellness. This month has been no exception with what we have appropriately named “Mindful March,” bringing awareness to our mental health. We at Reportex keep close contact with our employees and have kept up to date with the needs of the legal industry during this pandemic, including ways to reduce workload stress.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a paralegal seminar put on by TLABC called “Rising Above Adversity.” Throughout this seminar we got to hear not only from paralegals in the industry but from lawyers who shared their struggles with anxiety even before the pandemic hit. It was refreshing to hear about struggle in such a highly regarded position and not only how to overcome those struggles but how to help all employees acknowledge their struggles in the workplace and at home. Reportex has acknowledged the changes and stressful situations our clients are faced with on a daily basis. Our new space reflects these changes and has areas where you can relax.

We hear about mental health more and more every day, which is great; however, in the last year only 1 in 10 people acknowledge they are suffering from anxiety. The first thing to know is that you are not alone. There are treatments, and anxiety is more common than you think. To acknowledge your anxiety, look out for the following signs: excessive worrying; difficulties sleeping; fatigue; concentration issues; irritability and tension; increased heart rate and palpitations; sweating and hot flashes; trembling and shaking; chest pains or shortness of breath; or feelings of terror. For more information about these symptoms please visit How to Tell if You Have Anxiety: 10 Signs and Symptoms at

Acknowledging these symptoms is a huge step, and there are many ways to remedy them, including maintaining a routine; watching your dietary, alcohol and coffee intake; limiting how much TV you are consuming; maintaining social connection (Zoom meetings, phone calls, outdoor distanced activities); engaging in community service; and journaling. Practicing gratefulness is also highly recommended: keep a gratitude journal and simply write down three things a day you are thankful for, even if it’s for your morning coffee. (I encourage you to check out resources from brain health speaker Terry Small for the scientific backup and positive effects of practicing gratitude.)

Anxiety is not a new concept; many people suffer from it. COVID has built a whole new type of anxiety, so remember to be compassionate and not to beat yourself up about your anxiety. Limiting news and social media can also be helpful (protect yourself but don’t feel bad about shutting out the bad news that is constantly running through our newsfeeds). Feel good about checking in for help. There are several anonymous sources you can turn to, and here are some free apps you can download on your phone: Sanvello, The LifeLine App, MindShift CBT and BetterHelp

Although the last year has been stressful, believe it or not, there could be some pros to COVID: having a shorter commute, staying home with your fur babies, wearing comfy pants, using less paper, enjoying home-made lunches, not having to fake smile because you are wearing a mask or not having to meet in person due to the ability to communicate with people around the world via technology. Many of us can’t wait to meet in person again, but in the meantime there are ways around it.

We have featured our technology many times in our blog posts, helping people navigate through the pandemic. That’s not all we are doing! As we spring into spring, Reportex is unveiling the expansion that our amazing team has been endlessly working on behind the scenes. We have shared teasers and information about our expansion, and we are extremely grateful to be able to share the features of our new space. We understand that our clients are often in high-stress situations while visiting our office. At Reportex we have incorporated unique art by our in-house artist, Shari Pratt; zen dens with beautiful downtown Vancouver views, where you and your clients can relax with coffee and snacks during breaks; a state of the art kitchen (scheduled to open later this year) to accommodate lunches; and, as always, helpful staff to cater to your unique needs. We are of course still accommodating stress-free virtual proceedings and e-services — everything from examinations for discovery to lengthy e-trials facilitated by our friendly tech team.

Our priority is client satisfaction, and we want to make your visit as comfortable and as stress-free as possible during the pandemic and after. We cannot wait to unveil our new space and welcome everyone back into the office. Follow us on social media to stay looped in on the latest developments. Also keep an eye out for blog posts about our wellness initiatives and how to navigate through the pandemic in the smoothest way possible.

Connect Series: Meet Operations Manager Casey Dickinson!

Casey grew up in Kingston, Ontario, and attended the University of Guelph. In 2010 Casey made the move from Ontario to Whistler, where she started as a team lead for the guest services department at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort. From there Casey progressed through the company, working for the food and beverage department and the sales and marketing department, and she eventually moved back to guest services as the assistant manager. In 2018 Casey took a leave of absence to travel to New Zealand and Australia, which led to her moving to Auckland, New Zealand. Casey worked on the community engagement and insights team for the Auckland City Council before returning to Canada.  Casey is fluent in French and is an avid sailor, hiker and snowboarder. She loves travelling, reading and drinking wine (preferably all three at once). A fun fact about Casey is that she has an identical twin, who also lives on the west coast!

Not only are you the operations manager for all three locations of Reportex (HQ, All-Star and Island), but you are a busy bee with a lot of amazing hobbies. Now living in Vancouver, you probably get the most out of all your hobbies. What is some advice you can give about not giving up on your hobbies during the pandemic?

This is a fantastic question, and one I am sure has come up for a lot of people recently. Keeping up with my hobbies has been challenging, especially considering I returned to Canada and moved to Vancouver in the middle of the pandemic, so finding my groove took slightly longer than it usually does when I move to a new place. I love hiking, biking, boating and snowboarding, so I am lucky that the North Shore is a short drive away, but it can still be a challenge to find the motivation to get out there these days. I would say I have a few pieces of advice to give:

  • Plan. A lot of activities or outdoor areas require reservations these days (even though they didn’t in the past), so do your research and see what their COVID protocols are.
  • Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect the same results that you would have a year ago. We have all been through a lot, and our minds, bodies and souls are trying to recover in different ways.
  • Recognize and appreciate the benefits. One of the motivators for me getting out and doing the things I love is remembering how happy and healthy they make me feel. While it can be a challenge to get out of the house and make the moves, the reward is so worth it! Whether it is a hike through the fresh mountain air or giving yourself a few quiet, uninterrupted hours to be creative, it pays off, and you will always feel better for it.

You are overseeing Reportex’s headquarters expansion. What are you most excited to showcase to all of our clients in our new space?

There are so many things about this expansion that have me excited. This is a new space with 20,000 square feet of new custom-designed boardrooms, lounges, serveries and offices. The team has worked incredibly hard to consider every little detail, with a goal of offering our clients the highest quality of service. Christy and the design team have done a wonderful job with the space, and I think it will be quite clear how every minor detail was considered in the design process. From the extra soundproofing of meeting rooms to our showpiece boardroom (completely kitted out with leading-edge videoconferencing technology) to the state of the art kitchen from which we plan to provide a new and exciting food and beverage program — there was no piece left unconsidered.

As someone who comes from an artistic family, I am also excited to see Shari’s custom artwork displayed throughout our spaces. Shari has put a lot of thought, heart and effort into designing pieces that will fit well and really lend themselves to the space.

This year has been unexpected, to say the least, but Reportex has been blessed to go forward with our expansion this spring. What do you feel was the main focus to keep business going during this pandemic?

This is an enormous accomplishment in normal times, but to have been able to continue with this expansion through the pandemic is something I feel we should all take pride in. It has been an incredibly challenging year, yet there has been such strong commitment and drive to reach our end goal, and for that I think this whole team should be incredibly proud. And of course we owe a lot of thanks to Christy for being our fearless, driven, dedicated leader through it all.

I think the focus since the start of this pandemic has been to continue to operate in a safe, respectful and innovative way. At Reportex I feel we are some of the lucky ones who were able to adapt and redirect very quickly to ensure our clients and staff were supported in all aspects. While there have undoubtedly been hurdles and challenges throughout the entire process, the goal has always been to continue to provide the excellent and professional service that we have become so well known for over the years and to ensure our team members are supported, comfortable and provided with the flexibility everyone needs right now.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

I feel as though the value that resonates most with me changes depending on what projects I am working on and what my current focus is. For example, I just came out of a heavy eight months of learning the ropes and trying to understand the wild world of Reportex, so during that time I was really dedicated to mentorship and appreciating that process.

Now that I have a clear understanding of what is required of me and my role, I have shifted to focus on the value “team.” In the past when I was training new groups at Whistler Blackcomb, there is a quote from Henry Ford that I used:

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

What I think is interesting about this quote is that it points out that teamwork is a journey, not something you can just instantly shift into. To work well on a team and to be truly successful, you need to understand and respect the communication and working styles of everyone in the group — these are things that need to be learned over time. This is not instant, and it is important to respect this when working on a new team.

We have been talking a bit about wellness on the blog and through our Slack channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying well?

Right now I am trying to be very easy on myself. These are hard times, and it does not take a lot to hit capacity, whether it be physically or mentally. I know that for myself the most important thing right now is to ensure I am balancing my screen time. It is easy to spend a whole day at work looking at my computer screen to then go home and spend all night looking at the TV screen; however, I am trying to be extremely mindful of this.

Julia Chalifoux, Reportex’s project manager, started a walking challenge in February, and it has been so incredibly helpful with getting me into a good routine. I have been much better about getting out for walks after work, and with longer days ahead I am hoping to keep up with this. An hour of fresh air and no screen is an excellent way to decompress and regroup. I have also started leaving my phone at home during these walks (my housemate was passionately against this idea until I promised to carry a whistle with me, which I now do) as I was finding that I would pull out my phone and get distracted by something on yet another screen.

I think the most important thing for everyone right now is to listen to your mind and body. While it is very easy to say this, the action is much harder. An hour of quiet time a day gives me the opportunity to check in with myself and determine what I need, but maybe for someone else it’s an hour of blaring music and dancing like nobody’s watching — whatever works!

The (R)evolution – The Evolution of Space

Where we work is as important as how we work. This year has certainly shaken things up for everyone. As we continue to evolve as a business, we have taken that perspective as an opportunity to reimagine a beautiful space for our clients when we re-enter the workplace full-time. In one short month, we will be unveiling our brand new HQ office space on the 7th and 8th floors of our building, Cathedral Place, in downtown Vancouver and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you!

This project has been a labour of love for our team – full of thoughtful extras and mindfully chosen elements aimed to create a well-crafted space for all of our litigation proceedings and client services. Not only is the new office decked out with leading edge technology in every boardroom, we have also given profound consideration to our design choices. We are building a place that is more than just walls and boardrooms and we are cultivating as much dimension in the space as we do with our carefully selected team and with our excellent services.

As you step off the elevator you will be greeted by a striking mural, created by our artist-in-residence, Shari Pratt. Shari has been commissioned to create unique art for each of our boardrooms and common areas to aid in designing a warm, welcome, stylish space that will be full of colour and life – just like us.

Here is a conversation that our Business Development Coordinator Kiran Deol had with Shari about her art, her approach to this project and the work you will find when you visit us after April 1st.

We see you find a lot of inspiration from your surroundings. What inspires your art the most?

Anything old, decaying, chipping, cracking — my travel photos are full of these types of images that I use to inspire texture in my art. There is a quote I like to refer to often:

“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

This makes me consider that anything can be manipulated or can undergo change and come out the other side with great beauty, curiosity and wonder.

What makes the work you have created for Reportex unique from the other work you have done?

My current art practice identifies the relationship between art and my environment. Growing up in the Lower Mainland, I spent hours discovering the uniqueness of the BC forests, creeks, rivers and inlets. I found comfort spending most of my days outside in the wet climate collecting rocks from any shore I visited. In my current series for Reportex I have collected sands from the beaches of British Columbia: Crescent Beach in White Rock, Britannia Beach in Squamish and Chesterman Beach in Tofino are just a few of the beaches I use minerals from in my work. My process is to grind the sands into a fine powder and disperse the pigment into an acrylic binder. I use this paint to create the neutral colours for my paintings. Each piece incorporates a circular form symbolizing the rocks found along the shores. Rocks represent the steadiness, permanence and strength found in the people we surround ourselves with.

Other than creating your unique pieces, you also teach via in-person and online workshops. What is your best advice for any rookie artists out there?

Don’t sit around and question everything you do. Just get into the studio and create daily. Great ideas come from doing the work, not from waiting for inspiration to strike.

What is your most memorable work you have done as an artist? 

Many of the series I paint become the catalyst for the succeeding series. I often write an artist statement for the subsequent series as I am creating the current one.

My most memorable work was a series called Lost and Found, inspired by the notion that companionship and a sense of belonging are vital to human happiness. In these paintings I addressed themes of aloneness and finding meaning and truth beneath the surface. I believe that what lies beneath the surface of the canvas is often the true story of self. My work explored the nature of my personal life within the context of my exposure to photos, material items and the architectural heritage of the early 1900s. I began by building up the surface of the canvas with a portrait; then I found objects and peeled back the layers through physical deconstruction by sanding, carving and detaching.

Your new studio is located at Reportex and overlooks the Vancouver Art Gallery. What are you most excited about with your new space?

In 1793 the Louvre Museum opened its doors to the public, and days were set aside for artists to study and learn the methods of the masters. Artists such as Degas, Picasso and Singer Sargent found inspiration by emulating the works of others to improve and discover new ways to approach their work. For me, being able to see the Vancouver Art Gallery from my studio at Reportex will be incredibly inspirational and hopefully provoke some exciting transformative concepts.

Introducing Mindful March

By Kiran Deol, Business Development Coordinator

As we round out one full year of the pandemic, you may be feeling restless and feeling like you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. You are not alone! We are all feeling this way. Here at Reportex we are lucky to have such a great team to support us in anything we need, even if it is as simple as a little chat. In support of our team we have been focusing on wellness initiatives each month — February was all about Walking for Wellness, and as we move into a new month, we are introducing Mindful March. The goal for this initiative is to focus on shifting your headspace to where you want it to be, with the support to help you achieve your mindful goals along the way!

A whole year ago, at the beginning of this pandemic, I decided to organize my life. I still had boxes in the storage room from moving, I was newly-ish married and I had just gotten back from my brother’s wedding in Cancun. I spent some time reorganizing my house — and may I just say that it was spotless! Next I wanted to organize my headspace. I was all over the place with what I wanted but was ready to start a new challenge. Part of this challenge was to be a happier person. 

With this in mind I started a new job at Reportex at the strangest time possible (but I must say that starting a new job during this time had a lot to do with my mental well-being and became such a blessing). I vowed I would find the person I once was and would prioritize the people and things I love in a new way. The hardest part of doing this was being able to divert my mind from the things I did not want to have power over me. As months went on, the struggle was to not give in to the negativity of the pandemic. That is when I decided it was time to get back into meditation! I had included meditation in my routine in the past but hadn’t practised in over three years, and I remembered how much it had helped with my positive headspace, my work life and my personal life. 

I feel that when many people think of meditation, they picture a monk sitting in silence for hours at a time with chants or mantras being repeated. Yes, this is meditation; however, it can also be much, much simpler. For example, whenever you feel overwhelmed and decide to take a minute to close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths — well, that is a form of meditation! You are focusing on your breath to get yourself back on track and calm yourself down.

The biggest obstacle most people have with meditation is being able to shut off their minds for even one minute, so here are some tips to help you achieve a still mind in your meditation journey:

  1. Be consistent! I find that being consistent is key with practices like meditation. It takes the human brain 21 consecutive days to get into a routine, so if you can successfully meditate (for even a minute) for 21 days, you are on the right track! Be consistent in your timing — set aside time in either the morning or evening. Morning meditation has the best benefits for me, but if you prefer the evening, just make sure it is the same time every day.
  2. Find a space. Set up an area in your home that is comfortable and quiet. Your setup does not have to be complicated. Personally, I have a comfy cushion on the floor, and I sit in front of the fireplace in my living room. Ideally you want to be in a space where you know you will not be bothered. 
  3. Focus on a sound. Once you are nice and comfy and sitting in a comfortable position, find a sound that soothes you. I use sound because it helps me concentrate on the present as opposed to having all different thoughts going through my head, like what I will make for breakfast! The type of sound is a personal preference. There are many options for meditation sounds that you can play on YouTube: a running river, ocean sounds, birds chirping or acoustic music. There are also guided meditations. I would suggest trying a couple of different things to see what works for you. (I play a mantra my grandmother used to play, which I always found relaxing.) 
  4. Set a timer. To begin, start a timer on your phone and start with as little as one minute. Shutting your mind off for one minute is harder than you think, but if you are successful in shutting your mind off for one whole minute, increase the time each day until you have a time that you are comfortable with and that you see yourself sticking to. Do not sit down and expect to turn off your mind for an hour at a time! At the beginning of my meditation journey I started off with one minute and worked my way up, and I can now successfully turn off my mind and be still in meditation for 20 minutes, which does wonders for me.
  5. Be patient. Do not be hard on yourself. If your mind starts to wander off, you may be tempted to give up. Sitting still is not an easy thing to do. We are not necessarily used to setting aside time for ourselves, and just like a muscle, the mind needs to be exercised. If you begin to feel your mind wander off to something else, simply acknowledge it and bring yourself back.
  6. Focus on your breath. This is the most important part of meditation because your breath is ultimately how you control your body. There are several different breathing techniques to use. I use the 4-7-8 method: breathe in through your nose for four seconds; hold the breath for seven seconds; exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. I repeat this five times and then relax my breathing for the rest of my meditation. This technique of breathing decreases fatigue, anxiety and symptoms of asthma, works to manage stress and improves migraine symptoms. Lastly, I find that this type of breathing wakes up my whole body! I have not had a cup of coffee since August, and although I do miss the nudge, this breathing exercise really helps to get my blood flowing and wake me up.
  7. End with intention. After my timed meditation I simply think of three things I am most grateful for and say them out loud. This is a great way to conclude your meditation and take the time to focus on gratitude. I am forever grateful for having 20 minutes of meditation each day to rest my mind and recharge.

Meditation has become a daily routine for me, and I cannot stress enough how beneficial it has been for me over the last little while, especially while coping with pregnancy and this ongoing pandemic. It helps me stay positive and productive and keeps my energy levels high. Meditation is a very personal practice, so finding what is comfortable for yourself is key. If you can shut off your mind, you’ll be successful! I wish you all the luck in your Mindful March journey.

The divine soul within me bows to the divine soul within you, as in namaste.

Connect Series: Meet Owner, President & Realtime Court Reporter, Christy Pratt!

Over the course of her career Christy has acquired reporting expertise in all areas of litigation, with a special interest in Aboriginal rights and title cases and Charter challenge cases.

She has reported several landmark trials (including Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia and Conseil-scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia (Education)), and she is currently reporting the Cambie Surgeries Corp. v. British Columbia (Medical Services Commission) trial before the Honourable Mr. Justice Steeves.

As an expert in realtime reporting Christy regularly conducts workshops for trial lawyers and their support staff on the benefits of realtime reporting and how to effectively conduct electronic trials.  She has presented for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and at lunch & learns for law firms throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Christy provides IME consulting services to medical experts, and she has developed extensive online training programs and reference libraries for court reporters, transcriptionists and editors.

During her decade-long tenure on the board of the BC Shorthand Reporters Association, Christy held the positions of secretary and president.

Christy has expertise in reporting all areas of litigation, including Aboriginal rights and title, Charter challenges, medical malpractice, personal/catastrophic injury, construction/engineering, defamation, products liability, anti-trust, environmental, mining and other resource-based litigation.

Christy has a passion for travelling and writing, and she enjoys spending time in Washington State and attending European cooking schools.  She is a proud supporter of several local Vancouver shelters and charities.

You just wrapped up evidence on a 151-day e-trial, which is the way of the future. What was your biggest challenge or obstacle you overcame with this trial?

While there have been a handful of trials in British Columbia that have involved some element of digital presentation (some managed by the parties themselves, some using third party software providers and some using a hybrid blend of paper exhibits and digital presentation), Saik’uz was the first fully supported e-trial in British Columbia. We designed the platform, provided all the software/hardware (including a 65-inch SMART Board for document markup), liaised with the clerks and exhibit managers, trained and supported counsel and the judge and provided realtime reporting to all participants, both onsite and remotely. We also provided a full-time e-trial technician to run the platform. As you can imagine, with this many moving parts and virtually no precedent to rely on there was always something popping up in the early days that needed a solution. Throw a pandemic into the mix with many witnesses attending virtually, and things got pretty wild pretty quickly. Now instead of focusing on just the e-trial tech and the transcripts, we were sourcing plexiglass, designing a socially distanced courtroom and finding a solution that would allow witnesses to attend virtually within our platform (which was designed to work independently of the courtroom system, for security purposes) while still being integrated with DARS. Essentially if the parties — or the court — needed anything, we made it happen, and in the early days of COVID things were changing almost daily. 

So I think the biggest challenge with this particular trial wasn’t the technology, because we were totally solid on that. It was making sure that we were always ready to pivot and adapt to the ever-changing requirements of conducting a trial during a pandemic. But that challenge also allowed us to create some pretty incredible solutions to connect the trial participants through technology. 

E-trials are a relatively new addition to the services we provide at Reportex, and some people may be nervous to use the technology that is needed to do an e-trial. What do you want those people to know?

I would like them to know that technology is extremely flexible and that we will always find a solution that doesn’t require a complete overhaul of working style or flow. Technology can be intimidating, and it is very common for people to assume that nothing will be as efficient as their tried-and-true binders and tabs and sticky notes. But by asking the right questions, listening carefully and finding creative, inexpensive solutions, we can put the right tools in counsel’s hands to enhance, not frustrate, the presentation of their case. I also want counsel — and the court — to realize that they are more capable and adaptable than they realize. We have seen this time and time again over the last year as lawyers and adjudicators have adapted to incorporating tech into their daily lives.  

You have a career covering all areas of litigation, with a special interest in aboriginal rights, the most recent being the Saik’uz First Nation and Cowichan Tribes trials. What do you find most fulfilling about working on litigation such as this?

My passion for aboriginal litigation started almost 20 years ago when I began working on the Tsilhqot’in Nation case. We did months of discoveries and commissioned evidence and then embarked on a 339‑day trial that spanned 2002 to 2007. I spent months in the Nemaiah Valley and met some incredibly wonderful people, many of whom I stay in touch with to this day. As a court reporter I’ve always had a tremendous respect for words and language, and reporting the evidence of elder witnesses — some of whom spoke very little English — sparked a fierce desire in me to make sure that I was being as respectful and as careful with their language as possible.

Over the past two decades my team and I have really fine-tuned the orthography protocols that we use in aboriginal proceedings. We work closely with First Nations word spellers and language experts, and at times we have to get pretty creative when working within the limitations of our reporting software, which doesn’t allow us to replicate various diacritical marks. The challenge of getting the words right — sometimes across various dialects within the same language group — and ensuring consistency throughout trials that span months or years adds a layer of complexity to what we already find to be completely fascinating work. It fires us up! 

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

I think if you were to ask me this question every day, my answer would be different every day. But if I were to pick one, it would be “team” because without them the other values wouldn’t hold the same meaning for me in the context of Reportex. I am constantly inspired by the integrity, creativity, kindness and curiosity of our people, and this manifests in some incredible initiatives within not just our industry but also our communities as well. We have several emerging leaders on our team, and we are in the process of building a Reportex academy, where team members can level up in various areas of interest, including technology, leadership, wellness, grammar and business writing — it’s a long list. We do our best to provide our people with equal growth opportunities that will serve them in their personal and professional lives, and we provide mentorship along the way. But all of our initiatives stem from the core of who we are, which is our team. 

We have been talking a bit about wellness on the blog and through our Slack channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying well?

My word for 2020 was “connect,” and I didn’t realize just how meaningful that word would ultimately be for me last year. This year my word is “presence.” As a leader of about 100 people now, my vision is firmly focused on where technology will take us, and having one eye to the future at all times can make it hard to live in the moment. My mind moves at a million miles a minute most days, and I’m really working on just slowing things down by meditating, reading old-fashioned paper books (remember those?), enjoying a tea in the afternoon (and maybe a single malt in the evening) and finding silver linings every day.

Tech that connects.  #therevolutioncampaign

Connect Series: Meet Finance Assistant Chloe Do!

Chloe was born in Vietnam and moved to Canada nine years ago to start her education and career in accounting. As a math teacher and business owner Chloe’s mother used to teach her lots of things about math and business finance when she was a kid. Her mother has been the biggest influence in her career choice.

Chloe has a passion for helping business owners and individuals to manage and grow their financial well‑being. She has great attention to detail and enjoys working with numbers and analyzing financial statements. After graduating from Simon Fraser University Chloe had a few years of experience as an accounting clerk. Her main duties were recording, processing and checking all financial transactions to ensure accuracy and transparency.

Chloe is not only passionate about the field she graduated from but also inclined towards creative activities. In her free time she enjoys singing, playing guitar and learning piano from her boyfriend. She also enjoys learning different languages and cooking on weekends.

We see you have a great passion for what you do in the financial world. What has been your biggest win in your career thus far?

So far my greatest achievement was when I was a treasurer for the Vietnamese Student Association at my college. I led my team in hosting a funding event where we sold Vietnamese sandwiches and coffee to students and staff on campus. We made a profit of $350 from selling and used this fund to host a traditional Lunar New Year event for our club members. I learned a lot from that funding event about how business theory applies to the real financial world, how to keep the product cost as low as possible and also how difficult it was to persuade the customers without being annoying.

Many people dislike looking into their finances and try to avoid it until they absolutely have to! What advice can you give to people preparing for the upcoming tax season?

A lot of things have changed recently due to the pandemic, including taxes. Here are some tips that I can share to prepare for the upcoming tax season:

  1. Make sure you report CERB or CRB payments when you file your personal income tax return.
  2. Look into the simplified home office expenses deduction. As many of us worked remotely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has made it easier to claim a deduction for home office expenses this year. If you were working from home for more than 50 percent of your usual work hours over at least four consecutive weeks in 2020, you can deduct $2 from your taxable income for every day you worked at home due to the pandemic (up to a maximum of $400). This new method is called the temporary flat rate method.
  3. Make tax-efficient deduction decisions. If you expect to have a significantly higher income in the coming years, you can defer taking the tax deduction this year. You can make an RRSP contribution now and not claim the deduction until you are in a higher tax bracket. For example, a $10,000 contribution deducted at a 29 percent rate will generate $2,900 in tax savings. A $10,000 contribution deducted at a 45 percent tax rate will generate $4,500 in tax savings. You’ll still benefit from the tax deferral for any income generated by investments in your RRSP in the meantime, even if you have not taken the deduction.

Finance isn’t your whole life, and we see that you have many other hobbies, such as playing instruments, singing and other creative outlets. Have these hobbies played a part in navigating you through this pandemic? If so, how?

Picking up hobbies is the key to managing mental health. Back in March when I was staying at home all day long, I watched some videos of people around the world making music during their lockdown — from Italians singing “Bella Ciao” from their apartment balconies to policemen in Spain playing guitar while on patrol. I found music to be a cheap and effective way to distract myself and a buffer against stress. Then I started to think of some hobbies that I could do at home and decided to learn to play the piano. Sometimes my boyfriend, my housemate and I play guitar and sing our favourite song — “Lemon Tree” by the Beatles — together on Friday nights. I also tried several singing apps on my phone, such as Smule and WeSing, to sing with my friends online. This has maintained our connection and reduced loneliness during the quarantine. I’ve realized staying at home is not that bad. Staying at home not only protects us and other people from the virus but also enhances our social bonding and gives us a chance to learn some new skills. Music, like so many art forms, can help us process our emotions and feel like we are not alone. The virus might be keeping people apart, but music can help bring them together.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” — Henry Ford

Team resonates with me most strongly because I believe teamwork and collaboration can help solve difficult problems and improve the organization’s success rate. I love working in teams where team members are willing to contribute different perspectives and support each other. No one is perfect and can do all the work alone. Our teammates will help us recognize our strengths and weaknesses. They can also give us constructive feedback when we make mistakes because to me it is not about what mistake we made, but it is about what we learn from it and how we fix it so we are not repeating the same mistake in the future. Having a good relationship with our teammates can make us feel happy and productive at work. Each of us can spend around 40 hours a week and about 80 percent of our lives working. It is important that we spend most of our lives around people who we can connect with and be happy to work with.

We have been talking a bit about wellness on the blog and through our Slack channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying well?

Getting myself a manicure or pedicure is a great way to boost my mood and brighten my day. Years ago I worked in a nail spa, and I loved it. It was so fun to see new clients each day and watch them enjoy doing something nice for themselves. A lot of people would go to the salon to get a mani-pedi, but you can easily get a mini mani-pedi kit from Shoppers Drug Mart and do it at home. Spending a little time and paying a little attention can make you feel like you’re getting a mani-pedi in a spa. Here’s a tip for making nail polish dry faster: after you finish painting your nails, wait about two minutes and then dip your nails in cold water for about four minutes. After you remove your nails from the water, you should see water beading on top of the nail surface — this means your polish is completely dry.

Connect Series: Meet Rebecca Bragg from Reception/Client Services!

Rebecca is the friendly face at our Island by Reportex office in Victoria. With a passion for culture Rebecca studied at Queen’s University with a focus on the intersectionality between art, history and gender studies. After graduating, Rebecca provided registrar support to Sheridan College before setting for the skies as a flight attendant with Air Canada. In 2020 Rebecca, a native of Ontario, heard the west coast calling, packed up her car and drove across the country to move to Victoria.

In her spare time Rebecca can often be found wandering Victoria with a camera in hand, forest-foraging for flora or working on her latest creative project. She especially enjoys a good cup of coffee (or craft beer!) when she is not wrangling her precocious nephew along the trails of Vancouver Island.

We enjoyed finding out a bit more about Rebecca:

Having lived in and travelled to various destinations around the world, what are your top three reasons for choosing Victoria as home?

  1. Better work-life balance. Toronto will always hold a special place in my heart, but the emphasis on exhaustive corporate climbing and a live-to-work mentality was something I never wanted to identify with. I think Vancouver Island fosters the perfect amount of work, play and emphasis on healthy living in a more accessible way.
  2. Proximity to the true outdoors and the temperate climate. In Toronto the best decent swimming and trails are about a two-hour drive away, and you are sure to be gridlocked in traffic for even longer. This summer I spent more time in the water and on the trails than ever before, and I could get out to nature within 15 minutes. I love that here I can go surfing in December and that the ocean is outside my apartment!
  3. Family. Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), my family slowly started making their way west. When my nephew was born, I knew I wanted to be a consistent person in his life and spend time making memories for those milestones. My family laughs because when we go for hikes with the little guy, he has a posse of five adults with him — you’d think he was royal and we are his sentry. He brings everyone together.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

It is so difficult to choose just one favourite! At the moment I believe I most resonate with team. I have relied heavily on the advice and guidance of my team in learning my new role. I appreciate that our jobs interconnect and that we are all working towards a common goal, even from afar. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and when you have every lovely soul offering to help, I do not see any weak links here.

You have a background and appetite for art and art history. At Reportex we value working with local artists by showcasing their work at our offices. Why is curating art for a space such as an office important?

Reportex’s commitment to showcasing local art in our offices really solidified my excitement for joining the team. I think supporting local artists like Shari Pratt and Brian Simons (at our Victoria office) sets us apart and helps foster that personalized boutique style. It provides a talking point for waiting clients and warms our space. It exposes the talent by aligning our identity as a Canadian business and makes art accessible to all those who enter. Most importantly, it provides exposure to local artists to help both financially and by reaffirming the need for their craft in our communities.

When you worked for Air Canada, you were part of their special safety team. Why is having a safety plan in place for the workplace important?

  • It provides our employees with assurance that their safety and well-being are important, and it’s vital to setting them up for success.
  • It allows us to be proactive in setting action plans and to have a dedicated committee and standards to act as a resource so our protocols are cohesive across all offices.  
  • It helps us to be proactive in identifying possible issues early on and to establish standard operating procedures to leave us with a better preparedness in how to support our employees when issues arise.

Prior to joining Reportex you spent a lot of time in the air and around the world flying with Air Canada. What destination did you unexpectedly enjoy the most and why?

There is a magnetic pull about Portugal. There is something different about how the light illuminates the hilly city of Lisbon, coast of Cascais and vineyards of Porto. It was probably my most requested place to lay over in. The history, day trips, friendly people and seafood always left me wanting to go back for more! When you travel so much for work, you learn to leave little parts of you behind in those cities; that way they become an extension of your home.

This year the holidays are looking quite a bit different for everyone. Having spent a fair amount of time away from friends and family during your previous career, what are your top three tips for staying connected from a distance?

  1. Don’t treat the holidays like any other day. It is important — this year more than ever — to celebrate the changing of the season. Traditions like going for walks to see your neighbourhood lights, watching Christmas movies, dressing a tree or lighting a menorah are still just as important as ever to signify the passing of time.
  2. Schedule phone calls with loved ones. Set up virtual games. Have a holiday meal or gingerbread contest with your family over Zoom. Get your family giggling on the holiday calls. Laughter has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety!
  3. Practice gratitude, disconnect from technology and give back to your local community. Take yourself out for a movie or take a friend out for a meal. One of the biggest cures for loneliness is helping others, so see if your local food bank needs an extra hand or holiday hamper delivery person. Good energy and thankfulness are contagious, and making a difference helps the soul.

Connect Series: Meet Realtime Court Reporter Nicole Kennedy!

With a special interest in long-term complex matters, including realtime trials and discoveries, Nicole has a broad range of expertise in court reporting. She has experience in all areas of litigation, including construction/engineering, products liability, medical malpractice, personal injury, real estate, technology, environmental and mining.

Outside of work Nicole has a passion for exploring the world, experimenting in her kitchen and chasing powder days in Whistler.

We recently caught up with Nicole and asked her a few questions:

How did you learn about court reporting, and what made you interested in it as a career choice?

I was working in a dental office, and a patient was a court reporting teacher at Langara College. He was telling me about the program and the type of person that would be a good fit, and it sounded just like me. Six months later I was in the program and was immediately hooked. I was always fascinated by the legal system, and being self-employed was a big draw for me.

What three things do you enjoy most about being a court reporter? Is there anything you don’t enjoy?

I love the variety of topics I learn about, the fact that I feel like my brain is always being challenged and the flexibility of the job. There isn’t much I don’t like, except for maybe a fast-talking mumbler!

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

Definitely mentorship. As a young reporter, I was so lucky to have great relationships with a couple of mentors. It can be very overwhelming starting off as a newbie, and having their support was a key to my success. If you have passionate mentors, the energy is infectious. And now I enjoy paying it forward and helping new reporters navigate their new career. I get excited talking to new reporters about court reporting. Plus I just love a good semicolon conversation. I mean, who doesn’t?

We hear you like to travel. What has been your top destination to date? And what five items are always in your carry-on?

Picking my favourite destination is impossible, but I will say Europe is my favourite area. I’ve been to France and Italy multiple times, so that says something.

Five items in my carry-on: a good book, swimsuit, one change of clothes (you never know where your luggage will end up), a blanket scarf and my cosmetic bag.  

A day at the beach or a day in the mountains: which would you choose?

Both! One of the joys of living in Vancouver. And when I travel, I usually make sure my trip involves both mountain/inland adventures and a block of relaxation time around a beach and a pool.

We have been talking a bit about wellness on the blog and through our Slack channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge?

Fitness classes are my recharge. When I have a tough day of work, nothing energizes me like a workout. It’s definitely harder to stay motivated during the pandemic doing classes on Zoom, but once I push myself to get it done, I feel so much better. I’m all about the mind-body connection.  

Connect Series: Meet Scheduler Krystal Wong!

Working out of our All-Star by Reportex office is Scheduler Krystal Wong.

From coordinating US depositions to ensuring reporters have everything they need to succeed at their work, Krystal handles the more advanced work in our dedicated scheduling program to ensure consistent client satisfaction.

Happy court reporters are high-performing court reporters, and Krystal makes sure that All-Star by Reportex is a great place to work.

How did you come to be a scheduler at All-Star by Reportex? 

I started off at All-Star as an office assistant, which taught me the fundamentals of the business. As I became more involved in the day-to-day operations of the office, I accepted a role in management. In early 2020 the company’s operations expanded significantly, and I began specializing in scheduling and coordinating our bookings across our locations in the greater Vancouver Area and Victoria.

Scheduling sounds like a bit of an art. What are your top three tips for staying organized?

Staying organized is an essential component for success. Here are my top three tips:

  1. Prioritize: set out a list of things that need to be done each morning and check back throughout the day to ensure the most important tasks are completed.
  2. Keep detailed notes: I find taking notes to be very helpful in keeping track of what needs to be accomplished and when.
  3. Schedule reminders: have reminders set up on your phone or Outlook for time-sensitive assignments.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

“Team” resonates most strongly with me because teamwork is fundamental for smooth operation of the company. Forming strong bonds of trust as we support each other allows for seamless collaboration and effective communication to achieve maximum efficiency.

What are your top three phone apps?

These are my top three phone applications:

  1. Notepad: take a lot of notes to keep track of everything in my life.
  • Instant messenger applications: I find instant messaging applications to be an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends. Using Slack (another instant messaging application) for work is a great way for communicating with co-workers.
  • Camera: I use the camera to take photos and screenshots to capture and document any references I may find useful.

Do you have a favourite holiday tradition or recipe that you would like to share?

I have such fond memories of my grandmother’s egg tarts. She would always make them for special holidays or occasions and share them with everyone. Sadly, I don’t have a copy of my grandmother’s particular recipe, but here is a recipe that has amazing reviews.