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Tips and Techniques

Writing Law Firm Names Made Easy

To write law firm names (say, at the beginning of a video depo), I tweak the repeated-stroke technique we’re all familiar with. (See Ed’s Steno Pro, pp37 and 38.) A firm name like Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, you’ll usually only hear the first two words spoken, but at the beginning of a videotape deposition, you’re likely to hear the whole name. Here are my two personal dictionary entries:

FIN/HEN Finnegan Henderson
FIN/HEN/HEN Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

It’s that simple: Write the first stroke of each word when only the first two names are said; then repeat the second stroke for the entire firm name. Ignore the “and” (ampersand) when creating your briefs.

BURNS/LEF Burns & Levinson
KUL/DAOIK Cullen and Dykman
DAN/LAG Danaher Lagnese
FIRB/RIFP Fish & Richardson
BERN/KAORB Bernstein Cushner
BERN/KAORB/KAORB Bernstein Cushner & Kimmell
SHAOK/HAERD Shook Hardy
SHAOK/HAERD/HAERD Shook Hardy & Bacon
SKAD/ARPS Skadden Arps
SKAD/ARPS/ARPS Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
WIL/ELS Wilson Elser
WIL/ELS/ELS Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker

The law firm rule works equally as well for other proper names: local and national companies, consulting firms, and many more:

AB/FIFP Abercrombie & Fitch
BAB/WIL Babcock & Wilcox
BEK/DIK Becton Dickinson
BAOZ/A*L Booz Allen
BAOZ/A*L/A*L Booz Allen & Hamilton
KAM/KOL Cameron and Colby
KHES/PAOEK/PAOEK Chesapeake & Ohio
KOD/SHURT Codman & Shurtleff
KROUN/KORK Crown Cork
KROUN/KORK/KORK Crown Cork & Seal
DUN/BRAD Dun & Bradstreet
LOK/MART Lockheed Martin

Aside from reminding the videographer to please not speed through his/her read-on, I always – always! – prep for a video depo by having briefs ready beforehand for the plaintiff and defendants’ names, the witness, the lawyers and law firms (assuming I’ve got a notice of deposition), and I add a brief just for the civil action number, using my “wild card” technique. (See Ed’s Steno Pro) Say the case number is 13-cv-006478-BS. I enter a two-stroke brief in my job dictionary: 13/S-Z.   That’s it. The S-Z is my wild card stroke; it means anything I want it to mean! So typically I just write the first stroke of the civil action number, followed by S-Z, and define it accordingly. Pretty easy, huh??