Posted by Matt Register

I had a chance to speak with Terrie Campbell, CEO of Esquire Deposition Solutions, about the court reporting industry and the opportunities and challenges that come with an upcoming manpower shortage in the industry.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbussinessradio.com is the web site. Get your calls in, 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. That means call in now, call in later, call in at 3 o’clock in the morning, I don’t really care. Were going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. We’re talking about interesting business models. There are a million ways to make money in the United States. God bless America and we love having these guys on. Companies in industries, that you probably don’t even realize is an industry. We love having those guys on and talking about it. And you know in the studio we have a company that does court reporting. That, that’s what they do. They do it all over the country. They do them every single day. And so that’s, you know, one of the interesting companies we’re going to have on today. I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry had to step out for a second. But we’re going to jump right into it. Terrie Campbell, CEO of Esquire Deposition Solutions. Terrie, welcome to the show.

Terrie Campbell: Thanks so much for having me. Looking forward to the conversation.

Matt Register: Well, tell me a little bit about Esquire. What do you do? Who do you do it too?

Terrie Campbell: OK. So, Esquire is a deposition solutions company. Our role is to provide independent court reporters to a deposition and capture the official record. So that can either be in a deposition for a firm that may be working on a lawsuit that’s going to go to court. So they’re trying to capture the depositions for that. It may be an insurance company that is looking at deponent to decide whether or not they’re going to move forward to pay a claim or fight a claim. Things of that nature. And then also providing the support in a courtroom situation. Which is probably where most people are familiar with what we do.

Matt Register: Sure. Now there’s, you know, we were talking during the break. And every industry has technology, that it’s being introduced, that has the potential to disrupt. I assume some of the technologies coming out would be disruptive. And so tell us a little bit about some of the technologies that are, that are coming up and how you guys are integrating them. And why people still need y’all services, even, you know, why is that technology not going to be disruptive to your, to your business.

Terrie Campbell: Well, I would say this is an industry that I was very excited to join and be part of because, where I would say it’s at a tipping point. Where technology is really taking hold that can have a significant impact on the way the process is done. Whether it’s the lawyer or it’s the court reporter themselves.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: There are so many new technologies coming into the space and I came from a technology background. So it was something that was very appealing to me.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: So there are technologies coming into the space, that improve the video process, that will allow for deponents to be in Singapore and your attorneys are in, you know, Boston, L.A., Chicago. There’s also technologies that are coming in that allow the exhibits, which are in many cases very, very large volumes of documents that have to be dealt with. There are ways now to put those in the cloud where whoever is doing the deposition can go get those exhibits and manage them remotely. And even technology that allows the client to go in and pull down the transcripts or the videos on the fly. You know, without having to wait for somebody to do that work for them. So it’s much more ,it’s becoming more self-served than it’s ever been in the past. But the number one question that we get is; why do you need a court reporter in the room?

Matt Register: Yeah. Why do you need a human to do that?

Terrie Campbell: Exactly. Right? So I would say there is a bifurcation of the industry that’s starting to occur. Where there are the very fast 45 minute to an hour deposition, that’s really on a slip and fall claim or something like that. We will see technology move into that space in a meaningful way and you may not need someone physically in the room to capture that. But if you look at the business litigation or things that are mass torts or class action, that there’s huge risk in what is being captured of that deposition.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: Or you could have multiple attorneys that are disagreeing with one another, speaking over each other. Multiple languages, highly technical lingo for, you know, IP, intellectual property type cases. That really requires someone in the room with a high level of expertise and understanding, how to navigate that, capturing that record.

Matt Register: Well not only do they have to capture it, they also have to certify. Right? There’s a function of…

Terrie Campbell: Yes.

Matt Register: Certifying. That yes, as an independent third party, this is accurate reflection of what happened in the room.

Terrie Campbell: Exactly. Exactly. And being able to engage with the attorneys, to let them know, that they’re jeopardizing the quality of that record by the way the deposition is unfolding. So they’re that independent party in the room that does have, have no loyalty to one side or the other. That only has one goal and that is that, that record is accurate and timely back to the attorneys for what they need.

Matt Register: Well I want talk, you know take this back to, because this is, this is a trade school type role. Right?

Terrie Campbell: That’s correct.

Matt Register: This is you go to trade school for a couple of years. You come out as a certified court reporter.

Terrie Campbell: Yes.

Matt Register: Now, these are very, very good, well-paying jobs. I mean this is…

Terrie Campbell: Yes.

Matt Register: Really good work. Tell me a little bit about your workforce because you know, like a lot of industries your facing an aging workforce. What is this going to mean to your business, moving forward?

Terrie Campbell: Well, we know that over the next two and a half years there’s going to be roughly 5,500 court reporters that retire out of the industry and we only know of roughly 1,400 coming in. So you’re starting to see a supply and demand issue.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: By the way, if you haven’t noticed, the country is becoming more litigious, not less. So, there are a lot more lawsuits going on these days and there’s a lot more need for these types of services.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: And we are eager to bring folks into the industry and help. We even have scholarships for folks that want to come in. But literally as new court reporters are coming out of school and they’re getting mentored to understand, they are going to work immediately. The opportunity for someone that wants to have a a role that impacts the social justice system. Where you manage your own hours. Your using technology. You’re hearing a lot of really interesting conversations and part of that process. This is a great career. Unfortunately, it’s not well known. So, you know, we don’t have high school counselors or veteran, veteran counselors that are talking to those veterans that are leaving the service and what’s their next career going to be.

Matt Register: Sure.

Terrie Campbell: It’s not a discussion that’s happening regularly and we want to, we want to do what we can to put more emphasis on that conversation.

Matt Register: Well, we were talking during the break and this I found fascinating. Because border town, San Antonio, anywhere that there is a lot of, of immigration court stuff going on. These are high paying jobs. You’re talking about kids coming right out of school being able to jump into a six figure job. As, you know, without a college degree. That’s remarkable, that doesn’t exist everywhere else, right?

Terrie Campbell: You are right about that. And even the cost of getting that education is significantly different than going into a traditional university or traditional college. So, it’s, it’s something that we hope people will start to begin to get interested in and tell family and friends about it. To open up the dialogue because I will tell you right now, if you come out of school and you’re certified and we mentor you and you go into one of those towns that we talked about, you’re not kidding. I can tell you right now, you’ll be booking, you know, north of 80,000, up into six figures in a very short amount of time.

Matt Register: Well, hey, that’s very highly recommended for somebody, you know, the millennial generation, I guarantied does not realize that these opportunities exist. Right?

Terrie Campbell: Exactly.

Matt Register: And it’s something that, you know, I would very highly recommend. Go check these guys out. Esquiressolutions.com is the web site. Right?

Terrie Campbell: That’s correct.

Matt Register: So, the easiest way to get in touch, Esquiresolutions.com. Take a look. Very interesting. You know, I love companies that have, you know, niche, you know, little, little corners of the world. Right? That there’s great opportunities. And I did not realize until you came in that this was one of them. So, thank you very much for joining us. Terrie Campbell, CEO of Esquire Deposition Solutions. Thank you very much for joining us.

Terrie Campbell: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Terrie Campbell: All right guys, we got to go pay a couple bills. We’re going to be back. You don’t even have time to go anywhere. We’re going to be back here in just a second. So don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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