5 Things You May Not Know About UBA

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

I recently attended a continuing education seminar session that was presented by Todd Mobley of Mike Mobley Reporting and Rosalie Kramm of Kramm Court Reporting. The topic was: The Importance of Telling Your Story Through Blogging. One of the topics raised was: I don’t know what you don’t know. For example, when you meet someone new, after you form a first impression of them, the way to really get to know them is to ask questions. But what about the questions that go unasked? Blogging is a good way to relay information to people that they may not already have or remind them about a specific aspect of your business.

We don’t know what information you already have about us, so we’ve taken the guesswork out of it and compiled a list of five things we think you may not know about Urlaub Bowen & Associates, Inc.

5 Things:

1. We now offer in-house videography services. Brett Schatzle recently obtained the designation of Certified Legal Video Specialist and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to digitally record discovery and evidence depositions in high definition, sync the video and transcript for use in trial presentation, and deliver the video to you electronically, on CD, or as an upload directly to your case file in our 24/7 online repository.

2. Donna Urlaub, who since 1987 has competed in the Illinois speed contest, is the only person to hold the title of speed Champion and realtime Champion simultaneously not once, not twice, but THREE times. She is the current reigning champion of both contests put on by the Illinois Court Reporters Association. The realtime contest is comprised of two dictation parts: a 180 words-per-minute Literary and a 200 words-per-minute Testimony (two voice). It takes 95% accuracy to qualify in each contest. Donna’s 2017 Realtime scores were 99.22% and 99.5%, which averaged to 99.36%. The speed contest is made up of three dictation speeds: 220 words-per-minute Literary, 230 words-per-minute Legal Opinion, and 270 words-per-minute Testimony. Donna’s 2017 speed scores were 98.91%, 98.35% and 97.11%, bringing her average score to 98.12. She was awarded the Gary L. Sonntag Memorial Speed Contest trophy and the Sally Cochran Traveling Trophy.

3. Do you need to schedule a deposition outside of Chicago? We don’t strictly work in the Loop. Our in-house reporters can cover assignments anywhere throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area and its collar counties, as well as DeKalb and Kankakee Counties. We also have affiliate offices in Lake and DuPage Counties. And if you have to schedule a deposition out of state, we can arrange that for you as well with one of the vetted firms that we use from our nationwide network.

4. We think it’s important to stand out and to better our business every day, which is why we have applied for and received the following certifications: WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise), DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise), SBE (Small Business Enterprise). We also are members of the National Court Reporters Association, the Illinois Court Reporters Association, and NCRA’s Ethics First Program. We strive to maintain excellence in all codes and standards of ethics with all of our clients.

5. In 2019 Donna will have her 50th anniversary as a court reporter. She began court reporting in 1969 and hasn’t regretted it since. She’s been a business owner since 1985. Donna has contributed to the court reporting profession by being a board member of several organizations and by being a mentor to students and most recently by offering daily writing tips to a Facebook group of Chicago court reporters. But Donna’s not the only diehard court reporter. Co-founder Nick Bowen attained his certification 44 years ago. All combined, UBA reporters’ experience adds up to over 300 years!

Think about us the next time you need to hire a court reporter… now that you know more about us.

Are you paying 20 percent more for your transcripts?

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

Money saved when using local reporters provided by Urlaub Bowen & Associates.

Despite national firms claiming to have widespread coverage, they simply inflate costs by using local court reporters.

While acting as an unnecessary middleman, they push those extra fees on the clients.

Many law firms, especially large ones, now contract with national court reporting companies to handle their depositions and hearings.  These companies claim to offer nationwide, and even global, service.  But what is the real story?

The truth is that these national conglomerates utilize the court reporters in your LOCAL community.  So when you need a court reporter in Chicago, for example, they will call a court reporter or agency in Chicago to handle the case.  Then the conglomerate bumps up the charges on their end to make their profit.  So in the end, you are paying considerably more than had you just called your local court reporter directly.

Your local court reporter’s name will appear on the transcript, but their actual firm name or affiliation will not.  The national companies put their headers and footers on each page, so it is being assumed that our talented professionals are on the conglomerate’s in-house staff.  You may never know that the reporter who covered your deposition or hearing is in reality right across the street from your office, ready to cover your assignment for 20% less.

This is a conundrum your local court reporting firms are struggling with.  National conglomerates have infiltrated our industry as they have many others.  Avoid the middle man.  We urge you to hire your local, independently owned and operated court reporting firms.  As for Urlaub Bowen & Associates, Inc., we charge an honest page rate, do not pad transcripts, provide itemized bills, and there are no hidden administrative fees.  Not only will you receive the most timely and accurate transcripts available from the most talented and respected professionals in the industry, but you will be helping the local economy and saving your clients money too.

Thank you for your support.

Transcript Comparison

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

So you think you’re getting a deal?  Don’t pay more for less…

Their Transcript vs. Our Transcript

When we do referral work for other reporting agencies, we see transcript formats from all around the country and locally as well.  Transcripts are often sent to us as exhibits or to help us with word lists and formatting.


As we referred to these transcripts, especially those from national conglomerates, we noticed what looked like extra-wide margins, huge indentations for colloquy, and paragraphs when they were not needed. To validate our instincts, we took a cross-sampling of transcripts and recreated them using our format. What we found was enlightening.

One result was a transcript consisting of 349 pages. If we had covered the exact same deposition and used our formatting, the billable pages would have been 299 pages. That’s a 50-page difference. That means you’re paying for 17% more pages when you hire the other firm.

Choosing a court reporter should not be based on cost per page alone. With Urlaub Bowen & Associates, Inc., you will receive transcripts reported by certified professionals as well as litigation support products that give you the most value for your court reporting dollars.

Buyer beware. Work with a reputable Ethics First, independently owned firm that follows National Court Reporters Association guidelines and produces a full page of transcript that’s worth paying for.

NCRA Ethics First Firm


A Thought For Today

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

A Thought For Today

This quote reminds us to say thank you to all of our clients, friends, and family who have gotten us to where we are today. We appreciate your support and loyalty.

Donna Urlaub Wins 2015 ILCRA Distinguished Service Award

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

Urlaub Bowen & Associates co-founder Donna Urlaub during a ceremony awarding her with the ILCRA Distinguished Service Award in the fall of 2015.

From the Fall 2015 ILCRA Distinguished Service Award presentation speech.


It is my distinct honor and privilege to make the presentation for this year’s Distinguished Service Award. I would like to thank my fellow committee members, Bonni Shuttleworth and Lyn Grooms, for their work on the committee. I have to say that, of all the duties I’ve had on the ILCRA Board and various committees, this one has by far been the most enjoyable. Gathering background information and talking with the recipient’s family members and even secreting them here in the hotel this morning has been such a fun experience.

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Website Redesign

Derek LetellierBlog

Website redesign optimized for mobile devices, released in April 2016 by Urlaub Bowen & Associates.

We’ve completed our website redesign project to create a better experience for current and prospective clients.

In April 2016, our team at Urlaub Bowen & Associates published our website redesign after months of work.

At Urlaub Bowen & Associates, we’ve always prided ourselves as being a client-first firm, and our website redesign is our way of doing exactly that. Our new website provides prospective clients with an easy way to locate and schedule all their court reporting, legal videography, video conferencing, and more.

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We’re 25 Years Old!

Cindy SobolewskiBlog

Urlaub Bowen & Associates achieved a big milestone this month: 25 years in business.
To celebrate, we are having a little get-together on Thursday, July 1st, beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Sidebar Grille, 221 North LaSalle Street. We tried to include EVERYONE on our guest list, but it’s entirely possible that we inadvertently missed someone. If you plan on attending, please call and put your name on the list; we’d love to see you.