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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

    Two Things All Reporters Must Do to Stay Out of Trouble


    The following blog post was prompted by another court reporting agency’s Facebook post about their EDD audit last year.  In that audit the auditors were keenly concerned with proof that the reporter was genuinely acting like a sole proprietor. Here is the law:Labor Code Section 2776:(a) If an individual acting as a s ...

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    The End of the Court Reporter Shortage In Sight


    BREAKING: The End of the Court Reporter Shortage In SightYes, there is a shortage of court reporters. Yes, some agencies are sending “digital reporters” (fake court reporters) making the cure possibly worse than the disease. See why this is dangerous.But, there is a r ...

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    TOA Turns 20


    Wow — I can’t believe this is happened! TOA turned 20 years this year! As I look back at all the blessings and adventures the company has had there are just so many people who made it all possible. If you are reading this -- YOU are definitely one of those important peeps who is part of my story forever. 🙏🏻So we threw a ...

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    Noted Reporters


    This year I’m excited to announce Todd Olivas & Associates has become the infrastructure backbone of a new court reporting agency called Noted Reporters. Noted Reporters leverages TO&A’s infrastructure by using TO&A’s systems, software, staffing and 20 years of court reporting agency know-how. Additionally, Todd Olivas is the reporter in c ...

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    DRA`s AB 5 and AB 2257 handout


    This blog was updated October 15, 2020. Since AB 2257 was signed into law in September 2020, it is a law widely considered to be helpful to firms and freelance reporters in their availing themselves of the B2B exemption in AB 5. Firms will no longer have to insist on reporters being incorporated or formally formed as sole proprietorships. ...

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    Todd Olivas Perfect Steno Scholarship


    I have created a $1500 student scholarship through South Coast College and their Perfect Steno program that I'm hopeful will help court reporting students jet out of school! Applicants need to get set up with the Perfect Practice Program: But first, I have to explain my background passion for this type of ...

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    Get your continuing education credits FREE


    You’ve worked hard to build your workers' comp career. But these days, you may be working harder than ever to keep it growing.So I want to help you and here's how...Todd Olivas & Associates is now an approved continuing education provider (#6001878) with the California Department of Insurance (CDI).And we've be ...

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    These stories might help...


    Hello,You're doing your best to manage your life. You're juggling normal life -- health, family, finances -- all while dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic.It's honestly a lot. Heroic, actually.So I thought this week I'd gather up some stories from industry folks -- just like you -- and read how they're managing. I ...

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    3 Things I Learned After Doing 35 Podcast Interviews...


    Hello there! In September of last year, I started the TOA Storytellers podcast with a simple premise -- interview people in the industry to learn not only about comp information but also -- MOSTLY -- to hear their personal stories. The trials and the triumphs.35 podcasts la ...

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    6 Things You Must Know In Comp for 2020


    Each year we host TOA University -- an all-day conference for the Workers' Comp industry. This year's pirate-themed event was held on March 6, 2020 had some great information that we wanted to put in your hands, whether you attended or not. This ebook is your summary which can be downloaded ...

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    This morning`s depo


    Whoah...We're in week 5 of California's shut down. How's it going?For work you're undoubtedly doing what you can but I'm sure you'd rather be closing more files -- rather than being stuck in place; right?So how about a glimmer of good news!The good news is despite this quarantine situation -- there is a workable solu ...

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    There's a big problem...I bet you have amazing goals for your Comp life and career.To accomplish those goals, you need to constantly be serving your clients and doing your job.But there's a HUGE problem... Coronavirus has got you locked inside... and even while working online is doable, there's still things -- like deposi ...

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    Remote Depositions


    Despite the interruption of coronavirus/COVID-19, your depositions can still proceed using Zoom. Essentially, Zoom is an easy-to-use and free app that allows for secure and remote meetings to happen -- in our case depositions. And as long as both parties of the case stipulate to it, even a party witness like the Applicant does not need to be in ...

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    AI and the Court Reporter


    AI is coming to every industry worldwide. Period. And that will happen whether it's embraced by court reporting -- or any particular industry -- or not. Futurists' warnings about the ultimate dangers of The Singularity are no joke. Wikipedia cites the technolog ...

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    AB 5 - FAQ


    This is a growing library of Frequently Asked Questions about what I know about AB 5. The following is not pretending nor should it be considered to be a) legal advice; b) tax advice. I'm just a guy bloggin' about what I've learned about this law and how it affects me and my business. You and your business are unique and should be advised by o ...

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    Sample Letter for Court Reporters Who Wish to Write a Letter to Legislators RE AB 5


    I've been asked about what freelance court reporters can do to voice their support for an exemption from AB 5. Here is a template letter you could start off with if you wanted to write the legislator in your district.STEP 1: Look up who is in your district: http://find ...

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    Guest Blog Post: Attorney Chris A. Schaefer, Esq. -- Can Industries Meet The ABC Test?


    This is a guest blog post by attorney Chris A. Schaefer, Esq. who specializes in representing companies in fighting AB 5 and other legal matters. Originally this was from an email written to captioners and interpreters, but I think it would apply to court reporting as well.The content and conclusion that your industry cannot meet the AB ...

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    DRA`s Position on AB5 and What Reporters Should Do Now


    This is a re-print (with permission) from The Deposition Reporters Association 's (DRA) e-note from December 9, 2019. I think it is a very informative piece of information regarding what AB 5 does, how it affects every reporter in California, as well as what to do next.But first, what is AB 5?

    AB 5 Explained


    I have been recently named to the Deposition Reporters Association (DRA) AB 5 Task Force. I never dreamt I'd be on a task force for anything. Yet here I am. I guess it's because AB 5 has created a stir in me like nothing else before (politically). As such one of the first tasks I've worked on wit ...

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    Why Every CA Court Reporter -- Whether Official or Freelance -- Should Care About AB 5


    It occurred to me to start a list of reasons why every California court reporter should care about AB 5. It seems like some reporters -- mostly those working in court -- think they are immune from AB 5. Or, if not immune, then the affects that are talked about are overblown. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I plan to use this page a ...

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    DRA`s Letter to Lorena Gonzalez RE AB 5


    Earlier this year the good folks over at the Deposition Reporters Association (DRA) sent over a letter to Lorena Gonzalez who authored Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). I have been given permission by DRA and Ed Howard, Esq. to share the form and substance of this letter.

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    Are Court Reporters Exempted by AB 5 under the B2B clause?


    Can court reporters avail themselves of the Business to Business (B2B) exemption in AB 5? Two attorneys weigh in below and seem to think so. What follows is a deep dive into the possible B2B exemption afforded in AB 5 and how it may apply to the court reporting community.Given that AB 5 contains this clause in Section 2 (e) (1) (B):

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    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 1/14/2020 < ...

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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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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?