Ed Varallo comes from a family of court reporters and began his career straight out of high school. In 1965, on his 19th birthday, he became the youngest person ever to pass the Certificate of Merit exam (now the RMR). Best known for his speed contest accomplishments (a perfect score on the 280 Q&A in 1975, the first-ever perfect score in a national speed contest) he has six times been NCRA’s National Speed Champion, winning three years consecutively, 1974-76, ten years later in 1986, again in 1996, and again in 2006 — a unique speed contest record.
Ed began his career as a freelancer in Philadelphia. After three years as an official reporter in the Court of Chancery in Wilmington, Delaware in the early ’70s, he opened a freelance firm in that city which he ran until coming to Boston in 1988, where he worked until retiring in 2020.
Ed got his first CAT system in 1978 and reported his first realtime assignment in 1983. Over the past three decades he has addressed reporters at national and state association seminars on the topics of writing for CAT, speedbuilding, CART, and writing realtime, and is the author of The Realtime Writer’s Manual (pub. 1992) and Ed’s Steno Pro (pub. 2013), as well as numerous articles for the JCR (Journal of Court Reporting), the official publication of the National Court Reporters Association. He became a CRR (Certified Realtime Reporter) in 1994.
In the 1990s Ed actively promoted CART (communications access realtime) for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. He was a CART provider and helped raise awareness of this new field as a frequent instructor in CART trainings for court reporters. He was part of the team assisting the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the development of its first-in-the-nation CART program.
In 1995 the Association of Late-Deafened Adults presented Ed its ALDA Angel Award.
Ed has been a Fellow of NCRA’s Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR) since 1976, and was the recipient of the 1994 Distinguished Service Award of the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association. Following his last speed contest win, in 2006, The Boston Globe interviewed Ed and called him “the Michael Jordan of court reporting.”
In 2007 Ed was chosen by NCRA for its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.