PRINCIPAL AND OWNER
Irene Nakamura is the principal and founder of iDepo Reporters and iDepo Hawaii LLC, a woman and minority-owned court reporting firm providing both in-person and remote depositions, e-filing, subpoena and process serving, and record retrieval services to attorneys, law firms, legal secretaries and paralegals. iDepo operates two independent companies, in Los Angeles and Honolulu, Hawaii, with a network of 100+ culturally-diverse court reporters and staff, nationwide. In addition to its high degree of professionalism, iDepo is known for providing a great workplace environment.
With over 3 decades of court reporting experience, Irene is also a Registered Professional Reporter, a Realtime Reporter, and a certified LiveNote Reporter with certifications in California, Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, and Illinois.
Prior to founding iDepo, Irene served as an Official Court Reporter for the Honorable Robert M. Takasugi and the Honorable George H. King at the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Since 1991, Irene has reported on complex cases for national and international law firms including high – profile cases involving the Mexican and Armenian Mafia and several groundbreaking business cases. She has also reported corporate meetings for the Screen Actors Guild, among others.
In 2012, Irene launched iDepo Reporters, a high-quality professional court reporting agency that supports and encourages its workers to be the best in the industry. From her own work with over 25 different agencies, she noticed a great discrepancy in the quality of service and the way court reporters were treated by management. She vowed to “do better” by operating her agency with a greater awareness of her reporters’ needs while also meeting her clients’ expectations and timeframes.
“We pride ourselves on our customer service, our accuracy and our ability to do our jobs well,” says Irene. “We follow instructions, we ask questions, and we never assume anything because that’s when you run into problems. Overall, we care very deeply about our work product and hold everyone responsible for what they produce. What sets us apart is the value we place on our employees. We encourage everyone to work together as a team. By supporting one another, we can accomplish great things.” In 2017, Irene expanded into Honolulu, Hawaii by founding iDepo Hawaii and later expanded it by acquiring a court documentation and records business. With the California office providing training and support, including the introduction of new technology, the Hawaii office is now in full production serving the courts throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In 2020, iDepo has opened new locations in Bremerton and Poulsbo, Washington.
Reflecting on her decision to found, not one, but two court reporting businesses, Irene notes that she has always been a hard worker and thrived amid challenging times. Raised by first generation Japanese parents, Irene had to carry the financial burden for the whole family from the age of fifteen. “My parents expected me to pay their rent while I was in high school. I succeeded in doing this but it became more difficult when I also had to take out college loans to attend Merit College of Court Reporting.
Despite having to work the night shift at a check-processing center every day, I managed to graduate early, in just three years because that’s the goal I set for myself.”By founding her own court reporting agency, Irene has become the first Japanese – American woman to do in Southern California, perhaps in the nation. As hard as it may be for anyone to start a business, Irene says it is especially difficult coming from her background.
“Women in Japanese traditional culture have a much lower value than men. Going against the grain of some culturally expected norm, I chose to get a college education, and later, start my own business. I knew I had to break that mold for me to achieve what I wanted in life. It was very difficult on many levels, but I learned to empower myself, and now, I also do my best to empower my staff. We place a great emphasis on encouraging personal growth as the people I employ are on the front lines, and without them, we wouldn’t have a business.”
“While we may be an independent court reporting agency, I believe we are one of the best out there as we are very service oriented and we provide many perks to clients that other agencies don’t offer. We believe that getting to know our clients’ individual preferences and needs allows us to customize our services to accommodate them. At the same time, we are always moving forward with new services, technologies and policies to make our clients’ work life easier.”
Irene is very involved in non-profit work, having participated in pro bono clinics for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center; CASA Career Day, for children aging out of the foster care system; and Gardena Pioneer Project, a non-profit that provides services to Japanese Seniors. The firm also supports the Hawaiian Paralegals Association, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Japanese American Bar Association, Thai American Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Association, and National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firm and many others. She is a member of the National Court Reporters Association, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, Korean American Bar Association, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.
When she’s not working, she enjoys playing beach volleyball and traditional Japanese festival Obon dancing.