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February Featured Court Reporter: Paula Maddern

How did you begin your career in...

paula-maddern

How did you begin your career in court reporting?

I graduated from Stone Academy in Hamden, Connecticut, in June of 1991, but didn’t truly pursue my
career in court reporting until after moving to Richmond, Virginia, in June of 2007.

What brought you to Cook & Wiley?

Once my family was settled in our new home and my youngest was in school, my thoughts turned back
to court reporting and the missed opportunity I had. After all, who wants to hire a court reporter who
graduated 20 years ago and has never taken a deposition?

As luck would have it, my husband worked with someone whose wife was a court reporter with Cook
& Wiley. After a lengthy phone conversation with her, she encouraged me to dust off my machine and
get busy. She gave me Jeanne Wiley’s contact information and told me to give her a call. Once I found
the courage to call Jeanne and meet with her, I was convinced I had found my second chance. Luckily,
I still had my steno machine from school, by now an antique, and all of my books. After about a year
of relearning my theory, practicing my skill, and interning with fellow reporters at Cook & Wiley,
Jeanne kicked me out of the nest to take my first job in June of 2011.

What interesting or memorable moment have you experienced while court reporting?

There are so many that it’s hard to pick just one. Some are funny, some are interesting, and some are
just sad, but they’ve all left an impression on me in some way. Everyday is an adventure!

What advice would you give a new court reporter?

Always have food with you. You never know when you are going to get stuck in court or in a
deposition that runs past lunch, or in some cases, past dinner.

Never be afraid to ask for information. Get spellings of proper names, case cites, technical terms, etc.
The more information you leave your job with, the less information you are hunting for down the road.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I’m on the trails in my neighborhood most
likely! I’ll either be walking my two dogs or running, a passion I’ve found since moving to Virginia.
The gym would be another good place to check. I’m usually there three of four days a week attending
one of the many classes offered. I also enjoy cooking and reading.

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