Chrystal Mahan: 

Legal Transcript Proofreader

About Me

I hold a diploma in accounting and a bachelor’s of science in general studies focusing on leadership, accounting, and business. I also have a master’s of business administration degree. Each of these degrees required me to take extensive legal and ethics classes. In 2006, I began working for cities and townships as a Deputy Court Clerk, where I gained experience with legal transcription and proofreading for the courts. 

2015 I completed the Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice course, based on Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters and The Gregg Reference Manual. This hands-on course spans 64 lessons with multiple modules each. At the time, it was the only Transcript Proofreading course available. Students are required to proofread over 50 practice transcripts with varying difficulty and topics, including medical. There are approximately 3120 practice pages. We’re also required to pass a mid-term and final exam before obtaining certification.

In 2015 I also completed Legal Transcription the Zoom Method by Zoom Transcription Services (now known as Transcribe Anywhere.)

In 2024, I completed a Digital Scoping certificate of completion through The Court Reporting Academy, which certifies me as an Autoscript Certified Editor.

I am currently enrolled in The Court Reporting Academy Digital Court Reporting Program, where I will become a certified Digital Court Reporter, AAERT Certified, and the State of Michigan certified.

Let’s Talk About Why You Need (ME) a Proofreader

Have you ever felt frustrated by an important document riddled with errors? Imagine having your legal documents, court trials, or even your general writing edited to perfection by a seasoned pro with over 18 years of proven expertise.

I’m Chrystal Mahan, MBA, your go-to freelance proofreader extraordinaire, specializing in meticulously crafting flawless transcripts for court reporters. ✨

Why settle for less when you can have an industry virtuoso in your corner?

Whether you’re deep in the throes of a legal case, crafting persuasive business proposals, or piecing together the chapters of your next masterpiece, my unmatched prowess ensures every word aligns flawlessly.

Your deadlines, my commitment. With a lightning-fast turnaround of 72 hours (or even quicker if urgency strikes), I’m poised to meet your needs, be it a one-time job, expedited project, or a lightning-speed rush order. ⏱️

But it’s not just about expertise—it’s about crafting an experience tailored to you. Picture this: I’ll hand you my exclusive “Court Reporter Preference Sheet upon sealing the deal.” It’s your direct line to customized perfection, where your preferences and style guide the journey.

My credentials? They’re solid as a rock. Armed with an associate’s in accounting, a bachelor’s degree in business, and a master’s degree in business, I’ve marinated in knowledge. My proof transcript technique is honed from the illustrious Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters, complemented by the timeless wisdom of The Gregg Reference Manual and The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

But hold on, there’s more. Not only do I bring a wealth of legal expertise, including stints as a certified deputy court clerk for cities and townships, but I’m also no stranger to the intricacies of business and tax law. My journey began in 2006, and since then, I’ve fine-tuned my skills across a panorama of niches—depositions, hearings, rulings, Examinations Under Oath, medical, workers’ compensation, personal injury… you name it.

In fact, I’ve even polished up grant proposals, business blueprints, and entire books penned by passionate authors. Your words, your vision, my polish—let’s make magic happen.

So, are you ready to take the leap toward polished perfection? Let’s connect, collaborate, and create written wonders that are a testament to excellence. Click below to explore my rates and learn a little more about the maestro behind the magic.

Excited to get started? I’m thrilled, too. Remember, my samples and references are at your fingertips—just say the word.

And no worries if your stars aren’t aligning for this exact moment. File my details away for the future or pass them on to your colleagues who could use a dose of my expertise.

Here’s to capturing brilliance, one word at a time.

Warm regards,
Chrystal Mahan

CMV Virtual Services

Where Virtual Support Sparks Success

How About Some Rates?

Proofing Per Page

  • Standard Rate (72+ hours / 3+ business days): $0.50
  • Expedite Rate (24-71 hours / 2-3 business days): $0.70
  • Rush Rate (less than 24 hours / less than 2 business days): $0.90

Proofing Second Readthrough

As a transcript proofreader, we can reliably catch 80% of errors. If you would like a second readthrough of your transcript, please let me know and the rates are as follows:

  • Standard Rate (72+ hours): $0.70
  • Expedite Rate (24-71 hours): $0.90
  • Rush Rate (less than 24 hours): $1.10

Proofing Per Page with Audio 

As proofreaders, we can reliably catch 80% of errors. If you would like me to proof your PDF transcript with audio for a higher reliability rate, I can do that!

  • Standard Rate (72+ hours): $1.00
  • Expedite Rate (24-71 hours): $1.40
  • Rush Rate (less than 24 hours): $1.80

Digital Scoping with Autoscript

  • Standard Rate (72+ hours): $1.25 – $2.25
  • Expedite Rate (24-71 hours): $1.75 – $2.50
  • Rush Rate (less than 24 hours): $2.00 – $3.00

Legal Transcription

Transcription: Legal (25 Line & Colloquy Format) *PER PAGE RATE

*Categories                      Rush (<24hrs)          Expedite (24-71hrs)       Standard (72+hrs)

*A. Normal                           $2.25                            $2.00                         $1.50

*B. Difficult                          $2.50                            $2.25                          $2.00

*C. Hard                               $3.25                            $2.75                          $2.50

A: Normal. Audio with 1-2 speakers.  Audio is clear and clean. An example would be a speech or single-person interview.

B: Difficult. Audio with 3-4 speakers.  Audio with significant noise background and/or voices that are difficult to understand. This would be anything that makes it hard to hear or understand.

C: Hard.  Audio with 5+ speakers.  Audio with difficult terminology, thick accents, extreme background noise, or poor audio quality.

If you are unsure which category your audio would fall in, please ask for a listen quote.

 

**Rates are subject to change.***

Excessive corrections may incur an additional $0.10 per page. *Any transcript with more than 75% returned with annotations will be charged an additional $0.10 per page due to the extra time it takes to complete the job.

PLEASE NOTE: A proofreader can only reliably catch 80% of errors on a given transcript. It is unrealistic to expect a proofreader, or even a Scopist, to catch 100% of all mistakes unless the job is EXTREMELY clean.

Weekends: Please ask for availability.

 

Billing

Invoices are sent when the completed job is returned and are due within 15 days.  After 15 days, a late fee of 10% will be applied for each month that payment still needs to be received. I accept checks, debit, and credit cards via PayPal. CashApp, or Zelle are available upon request. Wave payment is available directly on your invoice if you would prefer that option. 

 

Business Notes

I do not have set office hours; however, I am in the EST time zone. I try to be flexible, so there will be times when I can offer some evening and weekend availability. 

I may not always be available to answer emails, especially when working on a job. Thank you for understanding.

 

Proofing Method

Please send your work in PDF, and I will use iAnnotate (or another annotation app/software) to markup directly to your document. I can then return the whole file or just the pages with markups..

Is your job complete and as close to turn-in ready as possible? 

Please understand that I am NOT a Case CATalyst or Eclipse Scopist. Before turning in a transcript, a proofreader should be the final set of eyes. Therefore, if your pages are messy, I reserve the right to charge +0.10/per page. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t have errors. No one is perfect; we are all human and make mistakes. But, the more basic mistakes I have to spend time correcting, the greater the chance that I will miss something, and neither of us wants that.

PLEASE NOTE: A proofreader can only reliably catch 80% of errors on a given transcript. It is unrealistic to expect a proofreader or Scopist to catch 100% of all mistakes unless the job is EXTREMELY clean.

If you have concerns about proofreading with an iPad, check out this article: “Isn’t proofreading on an iPad less accurate on paper?

 

Everyone loves discounts, right?

Referral discount: As a thank you for referring your colleague to me, I will give you a 10% discount on your next 100 pages when I receive my first paid job from your referral. There is no limit.

Super clean rate: I will reward you with a better rate as a thank you for sending me super clean pages (less than 25% error-free). The more we work together, the better it becomes for both of us.

 

Ready to get started?

If you are ready to start, please download this Court Reporter Preference sheet and send it when you are ready to start.

EMAIL: me@chrystalmahan.com

 

In case you were wondering….

Here are just a few of the things I have been trained to look for.

FORMATTING

  • colloquy / resumed colloquy 
  • by lines
  • appearances page
  • case style
  • Q & A
  • correct spacing
  • justification
  • tabulation
  • Indexes
  • certificates

CROSS-CHECKS

  • correct exhibit numbering
  • exhibit numbers match the index page
  • attorney and the firms’ names and addresses are correct
  • consistency in conventions and spellings
  • correct and accurate dates

ABBREVIATIONS

  • certifications
  • college degrees
  • No., Esq., Jr., Sr., Inc., Ltd., etc.
  • streets, roads, interstates, highways, and byways

GRAMMAR

SPELLING

  • names, 
  • locations
  • medical, legal, and other terminology
  • Jargon
  • slang
  • difficult or obscure words
  • when to spell out numbers on addresses
  • general spell check

PUNCTUATION

  • polite request
  • dependent and independent clauses
  • series of questions
  • echo questions
  • direct address
  • dashes, em dashes, slashes, commas, periods, colons, and semicolons
  • hyphenation, open and closed compounds
  • plurals, possessives
  • interruptions/talk overs
  • quotations, quotes within quotes
  • general chatter 

WORD USE

  • commonly misused words:
    • ensure/insure, 
    • sometime/some time, 
    • perspective/prospective
    • their/there/they’re
    • to /too /two
    • affect/effect
  • commonly misspelled words:
    • adjustor for adjuster
    • prima fascia for prima facie
  • skipped or swapped words
  • double/repeated words
  • omitted words (that are obvious)

CAPITALIZATION

  • defendant, plaintiff, counsel, court (when they’re supposed to be)
  • document names
  • exhibit names
  • parentheticals
  • professional degrees and titles
  • name brand drugs vs. generic
  • anything that is not a proper noun (person, place, or thing)

NUMBERS

  • numerals (digits) vs. words
  • dates and names split into two lines
  • percentages
  • measurements
  • decimals
  • fractions ​
  • when to spell out numbers on addresses and when not to

 

Did I Miss Something?

PLEASE NOTE (as I have stated on this page multiple times): A proofreader can only reliably catch 80% of errors on a given transcript. It is unrealistic to expect a proofreader or Scopist to catch 100% of all mistakes unless the job is EXTREMELY clean.

Having said that, if I missed something, please let me know. We are all only human and this is how I learn. Bring it to my attention so I can note it on your preference sheet and be on the lookout for it next time.

While this applies to general proofreading and is not specific to transcripts, it is still good statistical information to use as the standard for this type of proofreading: A human proofreader will catch 80% of nonword errors and 50% of word errors. An experienced proofreader should catch at least 90% of literals.

If you say I missed a “ton” of errors, let’s address the TON. If you say there are a ton of errors, this implies to me that the transcript was filled with errors, which it should never be. A transcript proofreader should be the final set of eyes after the court reporter and Scopist have examined it.

If you say I “read too fast and missed too many things,” let’s address that. How many errors were there in total? How many did I catch? How many did I miss? So, what is that rate?

A proofreader’s job is to be the FINAL set of eyes. Not the first. Not the second. Much like authors have multiple editors and proofreaders to finalize their drafts, transcripts are no different. The final set of eyes should only have a minimal amount of errors — if any and it should not exceed a handful of spelling mistakes, maybe some missed capitalization, things of that nature. We will never find 100% of things; by chance, we do with a transcript because it was rather short (less than 100 pages) and super clean.

A transcript should come to the proofreader virtually turn-in ready. That has always been the job description of the proofreader. A Scopist should be catching and correcting the bulk of the errors. And that is why they get paid more than a proofreader does.

Need more?

What is an acceptable error rate? by Ascend Business Growth

Error Rates in Editing: What’s Your Save Percentage? by Scieditor