Little Known Facts about February

  1. February is the only month that can pass without a full moon.
  2. During leap years, February is the only month that begins and ends on the same day of the week.
  3. February is named after the purification ritual Februa, which was an early Roman spring-cleaning festival. 
  4. February frequently occurs in lists of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.
  5. February is National Pet Dental Health month. It is also Hot Breakfast month.
  6. 19% of people buy their pets gifts on Valentine’s Day, totaling $681 million (Source: Bing).
  7. 85% of Valentine’s Day cards are purchased by women (Source: Groovy Candles).
  8. Americans purchase 58 million pounds of chocolate for Valentine’s Day (Source: American Confectioners Association).
  9. Americans consume 1.35 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday (Source: National Chicken Council).
10 Habits of High-Peforming Attorneys: The Court Reporter Perspective

As a court reporting agency, we witness thousands of depositions. While we’re not often privy to the outcome of cases, we definitely see some patterns. Here are some of the habits we see in high-performing attorneys:

  1. They overprepare. They know their case, the issues, the documents, the strengths and weaknesses of their position and the same for their opposition.
  2. They are not unnecessarily polarizing with witnesses or opposing counsel.
  3. They make a clear record that they can rely on for settlement discussions, mediation, or trial. If the last part of their questions are being cut off or if they pause and the witness begins to answer, they realize that they may need to start the question over and politely ask the witness to wait to answer until they finish the question.
  4. They look at the witness instead of focusing on an outline. They notice when a witness offers an expression that shows, hey, maybe I ought to dig into this a little more, and they ask "Why" questions because they can be the most important questions of all.
  5. They treat the people at their firm with respect and take care of them like they are part of the team.
  6. They take reasonable breaks every hour to hour and twenty minutes when asking questions to give themselves and others a short reprieve, which tends to improve focus and sharpen questions and areas of inquiry. If producing a witness, they insist on a break to give their witness an opportunity to clear their head a little and hopefully not answer questions that they aren't really comprehending because they are muddleheaded. They know that if a witness gets worn down or they have some other commitment they need to get to, they may wind up saying just about anything so they can get out of there.
  7. They counsel their witness if they are volunteering too much, i.e., "You've answered the question."
  8. They maintain their composure and confidence. They are not bullied by opposing counsel or a hostile witness, and they do not take arguments to a personal level.
  9. They listen to see if the answer is really responsive to the question asked. They reask questions when a witness has either willfully or inadvertently avoided answering a question. They listen intently to the words spoken as well as any nuances.
  10. They know when to quit. They understand when questioning on a certain line has become unfruitful or when further cross-examination won't advance their case. And they know that sometimes there comes a point in the day when there are more questions than there is time to cover or too many witnesses have been scheduled, and they are not intimidated into going past their limits.
Using the Power of Technology to Lighten Your Load in Depositions and at Trial

We see it every day. Attorneys and paralegals walk into depositions with impossibly thick folders and binders even boxes overflowing with paper. Wouldn’t it be better if you had quick and easy access to all of your exhibits and evidence right on your laptop or iPad ?

We can make it happen. We’ll save you time and frustration while making you better organized and better prepared at both deposition and trial.

Cornerstone offers multiple ways for attorneys and legal professionals to take control of the clutter. You can use the apps and programs that are most comfortable for you — from simple yet powerful programs like Adobe Reader and Acrobat to TrialPad, Trial Director, or others. 

Simple Lessons on Success and Happiness

“One of the hardest things in life to learn is which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn,” said Oprah Winfrey. People looking for success and happiness that they do not currently possess should look to end destructive habits that keep them from crossing new bridges and burning the old. Here are positive actions you can take to be happier and more successful:

  1. Don’t worry about what other people think. The only way to keep other people from criticizing you is to do exactly what they do or think exactly the way they think. And those people are likely not as happy or successful as you want to be.
  2. Think about what you’re doing, not what you have. If you continually measure your value by possessions and not actions, you will never have enough. 
  3. Don’t go for one big idea; try 100 little ideas. People spend years and decades waiting for a single idea to bring them happiness and wealth when mobilizing many different ideas is mathematically certain to increase your odds of happiness and success.
  4. Stop letting perfection be the enemy of progress. Success and failure are not binary. Ideas can be tweaked and improved but not if they’re never implemented because they’re not perfect to start.
  5. Don’t let others’ success prevent yours. Jealousy is a destructive force that takes many forms and will control you if you let it. Focus on yourself and what you can do.
  6. Be happy right now. Take a mental survey of what’s truly important. That’s where your mind should go, to what is great within your world right now. 

(Source: Inc.)
8 Facts about Language from
"Word-Nerd" Court Reporters

  1. Most commonly used words in the English language: “The,” “be,” “to,” “of,” and “and.” Most common noun: “Time.” Most common adjective: “Good.”
  2. The most difficult word to type on a standard keyboard is “pazazz.”
  3. The most commonly misspelled words in the U.S.: "Publicly," "Pharaoh," "definitely," "government," and "separate."
  4. The most commonly misused words: “Nauseated” instead of “nauseous”; “conversate” rather than “converse"; “irregardless” instead of “regardless"; “compelled,” which means forced, instead of “motivated”; “lie” vs. “lay,” which is to put down gently or carefully.
  5. The longest English word you can type with just your left hand on a standard keyboard is “tesseradecades.” The longest word you can type with just your right hand is “Johnny-jump-up” or, without hyphens, “monimolimnion."
  6. Top misuses of punctuation: A) unnecessary apostrophes; B) unnecessary quotation marks; C) missing commas; D) too many commas; and E) confusing a hyphen for a dash.
  7. A sentence that includes every letter in the English language is called a “pangram.”
  8. The word “swims” reads the same reading it right-side up or upside down. Such words are called “ambigrams.”
Ten of the Best Parenting Tweets from the Last Year

  1. "I never realized how annoying I could be until I created a miniature version of myself and started arguing with it daily."
  2. "'Parenting' is calmly explaining to a crying toddler that their head is still attached to their body after they put on their shirt by themselves for the first time."
  3. "No one is full of more false hope than a parent bringing a chair to the beach."
  4. "'You're going to miss this,' I whisper to myself as I'm shot in the (behind) with a Nerf gun while unclogging the toilet."
  5. "My 2-year-old referred to her coat pockets as 'snack holes,' and this is what I shall forever call them."
  6. "I like to let my kid eat at his own pace, but this morning he spent 10 minutes just holding a muffin like he was the Statue of Liberty."
  7. "Good day to everyone except the person who designed footie pajamas for potty-training toddlers.'
  8. "Just overheard my 2-year-old exclaim 'YAY I DID IT,' from the other room. What I learn next will either be exhilarating or horrifying."
  9. "Driving tests should have a portion where a kid in the backseat just pummels you with rapid-fire questions while you try to merge."
  10. "I just got out of the shower, and my baby started screaming. I was confused until I realized he probably doesn’t recognize me with clean hair."
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