This month, CompuScripts Court Reporting celebrates 20 years of providing timely, accurate litigation support services to the legal community. But before we pour the champagne, join us for a look at how we got here.
Ours is a story with humble beginnings. Born in a spare bedroom in July of 1993, CompuScripts began offering court-reporting services under the direction of Deborah (Debbie) Dusseljee, company president. “I enjoyed having a real bed and pillow within close proximity to my workstation in those early days,” Debbie said. “When I was called upon to work throughout the night to make an expedited deadline the next morning, it made naps especially comfortable.”
CompuScripts quickly outgrew that spare bedroom, moving to an executive suite on Main Street and later a historic mill house on Bull Street. Nowadays, we can be found in our building at 1825 Gadsden Street, behind the Governor’s Mansion. Just one of our conference rooms is bigger than ouroriginal office! “Now after all-nighters, I’ve been known to borrow a coworker’s yoga mat so I nap on the conference room floor,” Debbie quipped.
It wasn’t just our space that grew. Over 20 years, CompuScripts has gone from providing fundamental realtime court reporting services in and around the Columbia area to providing a full complement of offerings for legal professionals worldwide. “The most distant country I’ve worked with has been Australia,” said Carroll Anne, our scheduling and production associate. “I was facilitating a videoconference between a USC professor and a courtroom in Melbourne. I was expecting to see a group of lawyers in coat and tie, and I was surprised to see a room full of men and women in black gowns and white wigs!”
Which brings us to our biggest updates. In the early 2000s, CompuScripts began offering legal video services to clients. CompuScripts’ vice president, Bruce Balmer, took over the management of the legal video department in late 2003 and moved the company into the digital video world, starting with digital camera capture in 2004, file-based digital capture in 2005, card-based digital capture in 2008, ELMO capture in 2010, and multi-camera, high-definition, solid-state digital capture capabilities in early 2012. Today, CompuScripts legal videographers assist clients in preservation of deposition testimony, pretrial video preparation, expert witness preparation, and a host of other services.
And while CompuScripts was advancing, so was Bruce. Starting as a court-reporting and legal videography newbie, Bruce has acquired multiple professional certifications from the National Court Reporters Association, the American Guild of Court Videographers, and Thomson Reuters’ RealLegal. He was a forum moderator for the Yahoo Legal Video Forum in the late 2000s and currently serves as cochairman of the Certified Legal Video Specialists (CLVS) Council. He is a frequent and long-term contributor to several legal video forums on the Web, helping new legal videographers with equipment, media, and process issues.
But even as CompuScripts embraces change, we hold fast to the core values of court reporting. “In our 20 years in business, I think what I’ve enjoyed most has been the satisfaction of seeing the local court-reporting industry evolve in their professionalism, skills, and technology,” Debbie said. “Everyone has upped their game, and in some small way, I hope I have contributed to that revolution. As I look towards the next 20 years, my greatest hope is that court reporters will continue to embrace their centuries’ old role of reliably preserving information while utilizing the latest technological advances to enhance the value of the record with quicker turnaround and greater accessibility, thereby strengthening our integral role as a crucial cog in the wheels of swift, fair, and accurate justice.”
So join us as we raise a glass to 20 years of support to the legal community. Going forward, we will continue to provide our clients with the latest in realtime court reporting, videoconferencing, legal videography, and much more.