Author. Speaker. Mother. Coach. These are just a few of the words used to describe Ana Fatima Costa, marketing coordinator for BASF’s Paralegal Section.
Born in Portugal, Costa and her family immigrated to America when she was seven years old to escape the tyranny of the dictator, Antonio Salazar. After being introduced to television at an aunt’s home, she became transfixed by the drama of the courtroom scenes in Perry Mason, which inspired her decision to become a freelance court reporter. Twenty years later, she secured a position as manager in the San Francisco office of a national court reporting firm and later transitioned into sales.
Her leadership and skill are highlighted by the following two accomplishments:
• Passionate about the earth and its resources, Costa had long been troubled by the volume of paper generated by court reporting firms. She researched the issue and proposed that her firm become a certified green business – before the word “green” was a household term. The leadership agreed, and she led the firm through the vetting process with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In 2007, Barkley Court Reporters became the first government-certified green court reporting firm in the world.
• As a sales executive, she was responsible for generating business and brought in the largest global class action antitrust case in the U.S., In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, overseeing more than 500 depositions globally.
Since 2005, she has served on the San Francisco State Paralegal Advisory Board. A chance meeting with graduate and current BASF staff member Kelly Cohen in 2010 led to an invitation in 2014 to be a part of the Executive Committee for the newly formed BASF Paralegal Section. The rest is history.
Initially the section’s Secretary, Costa created the marketing coordinator position to better utilize her skills to grow the section’s membership. She brings a unique perspective to the section, using her platform to educate attorneys about what court reporters do and how attorneys and court reporters can best work together. Her first published article, “The Court Reporter’s Dilemma: Interrupt or Drop,” was posted to the blog and received the most traffic since the blog was established – 1,200 hits in one day alone! She also planned and moderated a CLE titled “Can You Say That? Legal Ethics of Working with Court Reporters.”
Her passion is to support court reporting students and new reporters. She helps them develop crucial practical and professional skills as the Reporter of Record in mock depositions and mock trials – at Berkeley Law, John F. Kennedy College of Law, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s annual mock trials, and other venues. Since 2008, over 160 mocks!
In her free time, the proud mother of two sons enjoys dancing and is excited about what the future holds. One might venture to say there is nothing she can’t do.
Rhonda Andrew is a Senior Litigation Paralegal at Keker Van Nest & Peters and the vice chair of BASF’s Paralegal Section.