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About this blog

I've been writing this blog since 2007 and have tried (not 100% successfully) to keep it up to date. Some months I hardly post at all while others yield copious things. All in all, I'm proud to have this public diary (as it were) and thankful that you stopped by to read my ramblings as I navigate this court reporting business journey. And I don't really know why I'm pictured on top of that conference room table. I really need to get around to changing that...

-Todd Olivas

  • Recent blogs | what's been on my mind lately

    AB5 and Court Reporting


    Hello, I'm going to use this page as my update page wherein I update whatever I learn about the Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) which -- to my and my attorney's way of thinking -- is an existential threat to the entirety of the court reporting industry. I plan to update this page any time I have something to say about this topic.UPDATE 10/11/2019 ...

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    Brea Conference Suites


    Welp, I'm super happy to announce that our Brea, CA location is finally up and going. We are open for deposition business and some clients have already switched their depositions here away from alternative locations. Our plan, though, is that hosting depositions is only the beginning. We envision having all kinds of business meetings here includ ...

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    Is Court Reporting Considered a Specified Service Trade or Business (SSTB) under the new law?


    Due to the new tax law changes made in 2019, some questions about whether or not court reporters (or court reporting firms) qualify for the 199A tax deductions have come up. The answer seems to hinge on whether or not stenography is one of the exempted SSTBs. Or does it fall under the larger law category?First, here is the IRS brief about ...

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    Court Reporting Industry Stakeholders meet to discuss Dynamex


    This past weekend I flew to Sacramento, CA in order to attend an informational forum hosted by the California Court Reporters Association (CCRA). I was impressed by the speaker Kimberly Lucia, an attorney with Boutin ...

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    Why Dynamex should be paused for further review


    Recently, I've become impassioned about the #Dynamex decision wherein the test to be classified as an independent contractor in California was narrowed to a three-pronged ABC test.You can read more about that here: ABC Test, Dynamex and Court Reporting< ...

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    ABC Test, Dynamex and Court Reporting


    Ever since I wrote my Herman Melville-length opus chronicling my year-long battle with the EDD, I have gotten many many MANY calls and emails from court reporting and interpreting agencies who face similar plights. Typically, they are dealing with an EDD intent on viewing their Independent Contractors as employees thus potentially triggering career ...

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    Court reporters are statutorily not employees


    It was brought to my attention by a former EDD tax auditor and CPA from the firm of Wubbels & Duffy that the following CUIC Code might have proven useful during the time of my E ...

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    California Read and Sign Deposition Rule Requirements


    THE CA READ & SIGN RULES REQUIRE: The witness may change the answer to any question and may approve or refuse to approve the transcript by means of a signed letter to the CSR.GREAT NEWS! This allows for electronic review!The CSR send out notifications when the original deposition ...

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    Urban Myths about deposition read & sign rules


    This list of urban myths regarding deposition reading and signing comes from DRA (The Deposition Reporters Association). Urban MythsAbout Depo Read & Sign RulesThe witness must read the PAPER original transcript.Nope, wrong. The Codes ...

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    TOA University - Peace, Love & 5.0 CEUs


    Well, it’s the end of 2017 and it’s been a busy year. Typically, right about now people look back at what happened during any given year but for this blog post I’d rather look forward — forward specifically to February 2, 2018. Why, what’s going on 2/2/2018? We are so proud and excited to put on our second TOA University event “Peace, Love & CEU ...

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    TOABoys Videos


    Well, despite the long hours on the road and the seemingly millions of miles driven to go visit clients, we here in TOA Land (aka the TOA Boys as some people call us) often have a little fun out there on the highway. Check out some of our dash cam videos for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on as we visit clients, race semi-trucks, listen to ...

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    TOA University - Summer CEU Session


    About a year and a half ago we decided to add CEU classes to our list of services that we offer our clients. In addition to court reporting, interpreting, videography and whole bunch of conference suites, offering classes for credit seemed like a natural fit. And we were right. I ...

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    Employment Opportunity


    UPDATE 2-21-2017. THE POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. THANK YOU!We are looking for an entry level employee to work in our Temecula, CA office. Starting pay $10.00/hr.JOB TITLE: Production AssistantJOB SUMMARY: Growing court reporting agency located in Temecula, CA is slammed busy in our production department. Don't know what a pro ...

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    Speech recognition and court reporting article in the JCR


    I was honored this month to have been quoted in the JCR (Journal of Court Reporting). Author David Ward contacted me for a quote several months and I had forgotten all about it. Comes now the November 2016 issue of the JCR and my quote got used in his article about speech recognition. David wrote another excellent article and even used part of m ...

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    Thank you reddit for blowing me up and also thank you Journal of Court Reporting for mentioning my blog


    I'd like to thank the JCR - Journal of Court Reporting -- for mentioning my blog in this month's issue. The quick nutshell version of the story they covered is that in 2008 I wrote a blog post about how court reporters are able to write so quickly on their steno machines. You can read the original blog post here:

    How a client complaint is making us shrink in order to provide better service


    Recently it was brought to my attention that we let a couple out-of-state clients down. When I say ‘out-of-state’, I mean outside of California. One was last year and one was more recently this year. Without going into the nuance of how we dropped the ball, they know who they are and that the following changes of policy here at Todd Olivas & Ass ...

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    Los Angeles Superior Court Now Hiring


    Every now and then I hear about court reporting job openings. This time I got a flyer in the mail for the Los Angeles Superior Court. Below is a pic of the flyer. Please go to for more info.- Monthly Salary as of 7/1/2016: $6,993.82 - $8,220.82- Plus extra goodies l ...

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    Find Out What Your Clients Want - The JCR article


    From time to time I get asked to give a quote for an article in the JCR -- the Journal of Court Reporting. The May 2016 issue has a great article about finding out what our clients want from us as far as services and technology. The author of the article, David Ward did a great job of shedding ...

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    What a wonderful RIMS2016 conference this has been. I decided to showcase our experience here this week, hosting a vendor booth, hanging out with clients, and generally having a great time in San Diego. It was typical weather for San Diego during RIMS16 this year.. ...

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    Too much technology?


    This week one of our reporters lost her cable that connected her writer to her laptop. She had had a morning job and while packing up, it somehow slipped out of her bag. When she arrived at her afternoon job, she discovered the problem and immediately told the attorneys. It's times like these that relying too much on technology can be a detrimen ...

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    Pink Ribbon bracelets


    Hello, Everybody! I hope you are enjoying this Fall season and (almost) cooler temperatures! I’m so grateful that you have chosen to utilize my company's court reporting services this past year. Thank you so much. Actually, I’m grateful for a lot of things. It's Bre ...

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    Court reporter found to be Independent Contractor by California Appeals Board and EDD Audit


    Without sounding too dramatic, if I were a newspaper here is what the big headline would read: “Existential threat to court reporting industry averted!” What follows is my year-long journey through an unemployment benefits dispute and audit by the Economic Development Department (EDD)of California.

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    Imber Court Reporters


    I'd like to give a nice shout-out to my friends over at Imber Court Reporters. We run into Imber a lot out there visiting our mutual clients. And even recently we saw them at the Employers' Fraud Task Force conference. I hear ...

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    California Court Reporting Firm Solves Age-Old Problem for Lawyers


    Press Release 5/10/2007 Todd Olivas & Associates, Inc., a California-based court reporting firm solves the problem ...

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    Court Reporting Service Sponsors Video Contest


    Press Release 6/15/2007A Court Reporting Service in California, Todd Olivas & Associates, has sponsored the ...

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Fun stuff | this 'n that

How much do court reporters really earn? How Busy Are We? Court Reporting Quiz
This is your brain on steno


How successful in court reporting will you be?