That's What I Want In A Court Reporter: DRAMA

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32 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    #LMA13 attendees already at work

  2. PLW says:

    I was sure you were going to rewrite this for them to make it more memorable/embarassing.

  3. Clark says:

    “You have to stop whining. You’re beautiful and I love you,” he said, “but I have to go.”

    Is nothing in our relationship private?

  4. Michael Mock says:

    And, honestly, who talks that way to their dog? A ferret, possibly, but a dog? Never.

  5. Kensington says:

    PLEASE tell us that you actually sent this letter, Ken.

    (Also, please tell us that there is a remote audio feed in the service's office so we can hear what happens when People In Charge see your letter.)

  6. BCP says:

    I saw this today, as well, but only because it we emailed to me with commentary similar to yours. This particular service made my block sender list months ago for sending similar spam. Some overly curious part of me does somewhat want to meet the failed writer who landed a job with them and convinced them they could use his creative writing degree to their benefit.

  7. Mike_C says:

    > And, honestly, who talks that way to their dog? A ferret, possibly, but a dog?

    Ferrets, dogs, who knows?

  8. OngChotwI says:

    Does this mean that they offer to leave the court by turning on a boombox and marching out to "my ragtime gal"? In which case they'd be primed for the headline of, "Court Reporters even more nuts than their alleged clients at #Prenda" :)

  9. Joe_Blow says:

    Would you have hired them if the court reporter was telling his pony he had to go?

  10. xbradtc says:

    Hey, a quick helicopter trip to Avalon for business is actually pretty nice. Maybe you lawyers should make some changes in court rules and procedures.

  11. Shelby says:

    I got the same message and had the same reaction. I guess I need to add them to my block sender list, too. Seriously, a thousand-word rather crappy short story?

  12. Lucy says:

    …the hell is this world coming to?

  13. onehsancare says:

    And he held her hand the whole helicopter ride . . . . GAG.

  14. htom says:

    Not being a lawyer, I've missed out on the letter. I'll live. Are you sure it wasn't a clumsy attempt at farce?

  15. George William Herbert says:

    Today, you laugh. Tomorrow, Fox Television Reality Series "Real Court Reporters of Catalina Island" premieres, and YOU WILL NOT BE IN IT.

    You fool.

  16. Back in the dot-com days when I worked for the Dark Lord Murdoch, we hired "Red Sheriff" to do some sort of site statistics thing or other. (The basic function, "letting the people who make our sites see stats for those sites", never did actually come to pass.)

    At once point (NOT Halloween or the first of April), Red Sheriff's representatives showed up in toy-shop cowboy costumes, with cap guns and such.

    I suppose if your name is going to make people think you're cowboys anyway then you might as well double down.

  17. Lucy says:

    There was a coffee brand a couple of decades ago that used story telling in advertising, and it worked for them. Apparently this is a revised trend gone sideways for this court reporting company.

    http://www.crescentgroup.ca/2011/07/13/branding-is-about-storytelling-the-brilliance-of-the-maxwell-house-optimism-campaign/

  18. Brett Middleton says:

    As the Director of the Fuzzy Institute for the Study of Non-Newtonian Physics and Other Anomalous Phenomena (aka The Fuzzy Physics Institute), I can assure you that I would never have such a conversation with my four-footed faculty and research associates (aka sofa snakes, carpet sharks, and numerous other terms of opprobrium, including a species name that translates as "stinky thief"), if for no other reason than the simple fact that ferrets do not have vocal equipment capable of producing any sound remotely similar to a whine (cf. "dook" and "hiss"). Additionally, ferrets are not terribly prone to separation anxiety, obviating any need to explain one's comings and goings.

    Just wanted to set the record straight on that.

  19. Jim G says:

    John Scalzi's observation on "the failure mode of clever" seems on point here.

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/06/16/the-failure-state-of-clever/

  20. LW says:

    "ferrets do not have vocal equipment capable of producing any sound remotely similar to a whine (cf. "dook" and "hiss")"

    They also scream when very angry.

  21. Josh C says:

    Dare to dream, Ken.

    Request that your next court appearance be on a beach.

  22. Brett Middleton says:

    Wow. That Scalzi piece should be required annual reading for everyone on the planet over the age of 12. Not only might it help prevent twisted spam, but also addenda requesting the heads of plagiarists.

    I would argue that Scalzi's thesis has a certain applicability to public communications as well as private, if you consider how a bit of cleverosity might affect a reader who is not familiar with the author. A small slip into failure mode might cause a reader to dismiss the entire communication. It might even cause him to dismiss the author as unworthy of further exploration.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ken

    I have a question, is it possibleprobably that you'd do a piece on the Sovereign Citizen movement at some point? I've read a few things about them recently (From a discussion of the Prenda case that sprang off when Steele denied that Judge Wright has any jurisdiction over him) and it has gotten me curious.

  24. Votre says:

    LOL Go get em' Ken!

    That letter they sent sounds almost as ridiculous as your Town Without Pony post. Was it another slow day at Popehat? ;-)

  25. AlphaCentauri says:

    The difference with the Maxwell House campaign is that Maxwell House has never spammed me. (That's what Gevalia Coffee is for.)

  26. Doug says:

    And yet, we can't read the email. I am so sad.

  27. Burt Likko says:

    Got the same e-mail, had the same reaction.

    Except for the part about the horny translator and the flirty court reporter getting helicoptered to Avalon at the last minute. At that point, my willing suspension of disbelief was shattered. I mean, I can imagine lawyers agreeing to move a deposition from downtown to Avalon that same morning and agreeing to the same start time without at least one of them throwing a temper tantrum. Sure. Because that sort of thing happens all the time</I.

    But the firm in question has sent me court reporters who can't find addresses on frickin' Wilshire Boulevard without calling me for directions twice. It's quite difficult to believe that they'd charter a helicopter so that a deposition would go off on time and harder still that the billing for such a thing would be handled without LOTS of stress all around.

  28. LT says:

    … I have spoken to my dog like that. Although I'd never call him 'beautiful'. Adorable, maybe. Cute, yes. But not beautiful. Too girly.

    It's kind of a shame we never get spam like that here; it would be amusing. I suppose avionic software dev just doesn't have the appeal good ol' lawyering does.

  29. DeathpÖny says:

    "You have to stop whining. You’re beautiful and I love you,” he said, “but I have to go…..I need to find ponies….lots of them….the four ponies of the apocalypse call and I am their harbinger…”

    See that would have got me interested.

    I have seen a lot of this myself, usually from marketing grads who dont understand the difference between retail marketing campaigns and business to business. Yes, the earlier poster pointed out uses of this kind of storytelling marketing technique, and the thing those successful uses usually have in common is a retail framework, where you are generally selling to an emotional response and you are building a brand by selling an emotional connection to the brand.

    When you are selling b2b services or products to professional and industrial firms you are better off sticking to more straight down the line approaches.

    Thing is, I had the same conversation 10 times with a marketing person we had working for our company, every time I told her what I wanted she kept coming back with the same stuff. Just could not get the message. Have had that problem a few times, not sure what causes it.

    I thought services to the legal profession had avoided that pestilence. Unfortunately not.

  30. gramps says:

    "When you are selling b2b services or products to professional and industrial firms you are better off sticking to more straight down the line approaches."

    Deathpony: the b2b marketing you describe might make it necessary for that marketing person to know something about the business on both ends of the desired transaction. That might be tough to find if they are taught that they need to only know "marketing", that it applies the same in all situations. It could be an education failure.

    Back when I did productive things, the people selling us stuff were generally engineers playing salesman (or -women); electrical engineers selling motors and controls, mechanical engineers selling cranes and parts thereof. Everyone spoke the same lingo.

  31. NickM says:

    John C. – if Ken did civil law rather than criminal, he could have had cases at the Pier Annex Courthouse of L.A.'s Southwest District. I think they closed it since i left CA, but it was located in the Redondo Beach King Harbor (pier) complex, and was literally a stone's throw from the ocean.

  32. Burt Likko says:

    I just got another one. This one about the beauty of Lake Victoria in Uganda, the mysterious and spiritually-uplifting source of the Nile River. And how said court reporting firm was able to arrange videoconferencing at the Kampala Sheraton, with the witness choosing to stay the night at the hotel and watch the sun set into Lake Victoria. Which is bullshit because while there is a Sheraton in Kampala, it is (naturally enough) downtown and the lake is to its south. Last time I checked, the sun set in the West in Uganda, same as it does here.