Trials & Litigation

Court-reporting champ has great hands and 'nerves of steel'


A 59-year-old federal court worker described by an onlooker as the Michael Phelps of her field swept the awards last month at a San Francisco event considered the Olympics of court reporting.

Although Jo Ann Bryce uses a somewhat old-school transcription method, compared to another top competitor, Mark Kislingbury, 51, her flying fingers and nearly 100-percent accuracy triumphed at the National Court Reporters Association event, the Wall Street Journal reports in a lengthy article about the competition. Kislingbury, billed as the nation’s most famous court reporter, sat out of one of the events—the speed competition—because he has won it so often and came in seventh in another.

Bryce is able to follow a traditional approach to court reporting, which she has been doing for nearly 40 years, in part because she is gifted with great hands.

“She probably has faster fingers than most,” fellow competitor Ron Cook, 60, told the newspaper. “She also has nerves of steel.”

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