Meet Kim Neeson, Regional VP, Eastern Canada
We are thrilled to be working with Kim Neeson, our connection to Toronto and the east. As regional vice president for Veritext Canada (East) and principal/founder of Neesons, a Veritext Company, she leverages over three decades of court reporting experience, technological insights and dedication to her clients. Kim Neeson is one of the nation’s foremost experts in advanced-technology reporting and CART. Over the years Kim has been an active member in organizations such as NCRA, STAR, CSRAO and Lawyers Feed the Hungry, and she is a fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. Kim is a CSR (in both Ontario and Alberta) as well as an RPR, CRR and CRC. She recently became a certified coach, obtaining her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential.
Can you share with us how you became a court reporter and what led you to found Neesons?
I originally wanted to be a lawyer, but at the time I was thinking of it, the profession had too many lawyers! My aunt knew someone who was a court reporter. I met her, saw that little machine, and I was hooked.
I created Neesons as a place where I could put my technology-forward thinking to work (this being the mid 90s, when realtime was still in its relative infancy) and create a top-of-class court reporting firm where we’d do lots of high-stakes litigation with the best-in-class court reporters around! I wanted to become a niche business with clients who appreciated the kind of services we could deliver.
Is there a trial or experience that you feel made a big impact on you and how you view the role of a court reporter?
I have been privileged to work on many important pieces of litigation over the years, such as the overturning of the wrongful conviction of Steven Truscott, the trial of the Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel (where I used my first PC and CAT software!) and the first cross-border trial ever conducted in the Nortel Networks bankruptcy, where Neesons provided much of the technology and realtime in two different jurisdictions. Court reporting was such an important part of all of these cases, and I was so honoured to be a part of history in the making. There aren’t too many careers out there where you can say that!
As Veritext expands west, what are your thoughts on this new phase of growth?
I’m super excited to bring together east and west. It’s about time! As many of the larger law firms have become national in scope, I’m so pleased that through Veritext we’ve been able to become an almost national court reporting firm. I think this uniquely positions us in the legal industry and will present for us new opportunities of growth and exposure.
How do you see this new unified national team helping better service the legal industry across Canada?
Christy and I share a passion for bringing technology to the legal industry. I see us being able to bring about even more change and enhancement to the litigation experience for our clients, with access to our expertise and know-how no matter where they are in Canada. Discoveries in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto? No problem! One-stop scheduling. One team. One vision.
Veritext’s corporate values are respect, ethics, collaboration, accountability and professionalism. Can you tell us which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?
I don’t know that I could pick one of these values alone. I believe in and have practiced all of these values in my life, both personally and professionally. When I built my business, all of these values played a role. In fact I was spurred on to start my own business when the freelance firm I was working for didn’t have these values. I wanted to create that space where these values would be lived. I believe that by embracing our differences, we are stronger as a whole. Maybe I’d add a value: inclusion.
Wellness and self-care are important to our team. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying healthy mentally and physically?
I am lucky to have an escape from the city in Blue Mountains, Ontario. So I get out and hug a tree pretty often. I also love to take my fur baby, @JaxLaxthePWD, out for long walks on the trails we have here.
As a reporter I learned the importance of looking after your body — it does take a beating, writing on that machine all day — and so working out, stretching and doing yoga and Pilates are all a part of my routine. Keeping those upper body muscles loose and stretched is just so important!