ANNOUNCEMENT: The Georgia Board of Court Reporting WANTS YOU!!! If you are a freelance machine writer, there is an open position on the Board of Court Reporting that we need filled for the July, 2016 – June, 2018 term. Please submit inquiries to GCCRA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
As of July 1, Georgia Certified Court Reporters should follow a new, streamlined procedure for reporting continuing education hours. The new procedure allows you to submit CE through your existing accounts in the Georgia Court Registrar (GCR) – the same system you have been using to apply for and renew your annual certifications – instead of through the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education (ICJE).
Consolidating all certification functions into the GCR should provide you with more timely service and more accurate information. Moreover, the new procedure reduces the amount of paperwork that you need to file when reporting CE hours. For example, the CRTC-1 Request for Credit form is no longer needed because you can input that information online in the GCR.
Things to know:
— You will report CE through the “Events” tab at the top of your GCR account.
— All preapproved CE courses for 2016 have already been loaded into the “Events” module, so you do not have to type in the program information.
— You can upload evaluation forms and other required CE documents through your GCR account.
— You will receive automatic email notification when your CE is approved.
— You can self-monitor your CE hours and status anytime through your account.
— Any CE hours you submitted to ICJE before June 15 should already be reflected in your GCR account. CE submissions to ICJE from the latter half of June should be entered into GCR accounts by the third week of July.
— Submitted hours and information should be reflected immediately in your account.
— Georgia Courts Registrar staff are available to answer phone calls and emails during business hours, and they strive to respond to most inquiries within 24 business hours.
The new link for “Court Reporter CE Information” is at the top right of the BCR homepage:
The BCR CE website contains the same information you are accustomed to finding on the ICJE CE website, but updated.
Happy July 4th!!
GCCRA is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 scholarship award!
The Georgia Certified Court Reporters Association (GCCRA) is pleased to announce the winner of our 2016 Horace Webb Scholarship Program in service to the realtime court reporting students or graduates in the state of Georgia.
As a leader within the court reporting field, GCCRA recognizes that you have many opportunities to become involved in organizations and activities once you begin this exciting career. GCCRA encourages this winner to start their career off with a gift of financial aid for studies and a one-year membership into GCCRA! Your study of realtime court reporting evidences your commitment to professional development and your desire to network with other reporters, who share your enthusiasm, interests, and goals.
People may ask: So who is Horace Webb? Horace L. Webb was the inventor of the stenomask – the device that allows voice reporters to repeat back what is being said while their voice is silenced so that one is not able to be heard in the courtroom or deposition setting. So what did this winner receive?
- To start with, the recipients are given membership, either student or full, to GCCRA, the only reporting organization in Georgia that fully allows all methods of takedown into their association with full voting privileges!
- The award recipients will be encouraged to attend GCCRA board meetings to further network with industry leaders and working reporters!
- Another gift to further their career in court reporting are a $500 payment to a reporting program or school (payment made directly to school – and in this case, Brown College of Court Reporting)
- Free NVRA or NCRA Study Guide (in this case NVRA) and a voucher entitling the recipient to one CVR or CCR Workshop (in this case CVR), one online written examination, and one dictation skills test (pre-registration required)
I know, I know — announce the winner already! The Board of Directors of GCCRA would like to announce the 2016 winner of the Horace Webb Scholarship, Carley Adamson. Congratulations Carley!!!!
Why Court Reporters Cannot Be Replaced…According to a Neurosurgeon
There’s always one harasser in the crowd. We bloggers are used to it. You know, like the guy in college who used to interrupt the professor just to hear the sound of his own voice, but he wasn’t really saying anything? Yeah, that guy. He shows up on my blog to shamelessly plug his electronic recording company. What-ever.
To him, I say that a neuropsychologist trumps a boy sitting in his basement wishing on QWERTY keyboards to take over the verbatim court reporting world so that he can profit.
Here is an excerpt from a neuropsychologist’s deposition in which he describes the intricacies of the human (court reporter) brain, supporting the notion that court reporters cannot be replaced:
Neuropsychologist: May I give an example of this?
Neuropsychologist: Okay. If you look — and the example is this: Our brains are a miracle. Okay. They’re a miracle that needs to be protected. And if you look at the court reporter right now, as an example, okay, this is a miracle in progress happening right before your eyes.
Let me just explain what she needs to do. I am speaking, so the information has to come in through her ear into her temporal lobe, and it has to go log itself into the language center. She has to be able to comprehend what I’m saying.
Then it has to get rerouted to the prefrontal cortex where it has to hold — she has to be able to hold the information, because, you know, I continuously talk so she has to hold it. Right? Then she has to analyze it, integrate it and synthesize it. Then it has to go back to the cerebellum and she has to be able to execute this, and she has to be able to then convert my words into those little squiggly marks. Have you ever seen court reporters have little squiggly language things?
So she has to convert it into a different language, and the white matter tracks allows her to reroute all of this information simultaneously without effort. Okay.
We take our brains for granted. She’s sitting here. I’m probably talking too fast for her, but she’s able to do this simultaneously. Seamlessly. Okay.
No animal on the planet can do this. All right. That’s why I believe court reporters will never be replaced. Because no technical — no technology could replace the beauty of that brain and the miracle of that brain. And that’s why your brain should always be protected and you should take care of it.
In plain English: You need us here. You want us here. Because you want a verbatim record you can use to cite in your briefs, to impeach a witness on the stand. We interject our human discernment on spelling, punctuation and the art form that is making the verbatim record. And we can do that faster and more efficient than any “typist” or tape-recorder.
COURTS BRING BACK COURT REPORTERS
AFTER ELECTRONIC RECORDING USE
When it comes to ensuring an accurate, fast and cost-effective record of court proceedings, judicial systems around the country are choosing court reporters instead of recording systems. Realtime translation and daily copy transcripts are available only with a court reporter, providing huge time savings, cost savings, and much greater efficiency. Court reporters have been the forerunners in applying computer technology in the legal system – computeraided transcription, realtime translation, and video/text integration. All of these reporter-based technologies have enhanced the functioning of the judicial system for several years in both headline trials and everyday cases. By providing case information to judges and attorneys in digital format, court reporters produce transcripts that can be researched, corrected, telecommunicated, stored on CD-ROM or other computer media, integrated with a videotape, or simply printed out in a conventional or condensed format. Court reporters provide and maintain this rapidly changing technology at their own individual expense.
Some jurisdictions have chosen to experiment with recording systems. However, they have found that using recording systems in criminal or civil cases frequently causes court delays, increased costs, and equipment failures that result in expensive retrials. Recording systems require constant maintenance and upgrades as technology improves, resulting in unanticipated expenses to the court and increased personnel. The courts pay higher transcription costs for inferior transcripts; or if no transcripts are provided, the results are great increases of time and additional personnel costs at all levels of the judicial system, as the text form of the record provides far greater judicial economy
|TEXAS||2001- Brought back stenographic reporters after trying both audio and video taping methods, citing realtime court reporting and the ability to have an immediate transcript; saving money during expert witness testimony by having the experts review the transcript from the day before instead of sitting through previous days of court; time and equipment involved in reviewing video testimony – taking at least five hours to review five hours of testimony, compared to 30 minutes to review the same transcript; inherent problems and inaccuracies in transcription of recorded proceedings; unanticipated costs and additional personnel to perform all the functions that a stenographic reporter provides.|
|NEW MEXICO||Started using recording systems in 1982. By 1986 brought back stenographic reporters, citing unexpected costs, frustrations, backlog of cases at the appellate level, and great increases of time and additional personnel costs with the tape systems. The state abandoned the systems and returned to faster and more cost-effective court reporters.|
|FLORIDA||Florida’s supreme court is currently reviewing an appellate court decision to determine what the official record is – the recording or the transcript from the recording. Digital recording systems record everything, including whispered conversations between clients and attorneys or onlookers. Keeping the recording from the public preserves the attorney-client privilege. The appellate court ruled the recordings are not an official record but are used to create the official record. If this decision is upheld, the court will be required to provide written transcripts, resulting in no cost savings to the court.|
|FEDERAL COURTS||Appellate and trial court judges taking part in a two-year study said videotapes of trials were too cumbersome and took too long to find specific portions. As a result, the Judicial Conference of the United States voted to end the experiment in 1986.|
|NEW YORK||2008 – Legislation carried by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee would prohibit the use of recording devices — rather than a stenographic record taken by a court reporter — in Supreme Court, county court, district court and family court when delinquency cases are being heard and during jury trials in New York City Civil Court. The rationale behind the bill is based on complaints about the quality of the transcripts generated by electronic recordings, mostly in family and surrogate’s courts, but also in some criminal courts.|
|KENTUCKY||1988 – Use of videotape recorders has resulted in malfunctions, retrials at cost to the state, and too much time spent by attorneys reviewing the tapes.|
|ILLINOIS||1990 – Installed videotape systems tried as an experiment sit idle. Chief Justice Richard C. Ripple said use of video is very limited. Other judges refuse to use it, stating they don’t want to watch television.|
|OREGON||2004 – Officials are calling for the return of court reporters instead of digital recording due to a series of missing or inaudible recordings. These instances include one hour of missing key witness testimony in a 2003 murder case; a retrial of a 2002 complex civil environmental case because the DR failed to record proceedings onto a CD; attorneys handling criminal appeals saying their clients’ rights are compromised by inaudible portions of recordings; and attorneys hiring their own court reporters for fear of an inaccurate record.|
|HAWAII||The disastrous loss of nearly 100 grand jury indictments caused by a tape recorder system malfunction has resulted in the state’s trial courts relying exclusively on court reporters, leaving tapes for minor proceedings such as motions.|
|NEVADA||Nevada Federal Courts and Commissions brought back stenographic reporters in 1995 after using tape systems for three years, citing higher costs and inferior service compared to realtime stenographic reporters.|
Sources of information: National Court Reporters Association www.ncraonline.org; various state records
Dear GCCRA current and former members,
You spoke; we listened. Thank you for giving us feedback onareas of concern and issues regarding court reporting in Georgia. ALL GCCRA members, both current and former, are highly valued by this association. We are presently looking into the issues you have raised with a view to addressing them within the shortest possible time.
Here is the first step.
You spoke; we listened, Association: Our association is reflected in the performance and actions of ALL members and we intend to do our best to ensure we continue to portray this association with passion and professionalism going into the future. We have the future of reporting to address. There are issues over realtime, electronic recording, and continuing education to address for you as well.
You spoke; we listened, Communication: We know communication is everything these days. Watch your
email, Facebook, and website soon as GCCRA is planning big things for YOU this year.
You spoke; we listened, Defense Fund: We are committed to ALL court reporters. For every membership, $25 goes to the Defense Fund to help make sure that all court reporters in Georgia are protected, regardless of method of takedown.
You spoke; we listened, Continuing Education: We will be offering seminars that give YOU, machine or
voice, information and training that makes a difference for your career. No hassle, great training, and great speakers! The next seminar is February 21, 2015 at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center.
Avoid missing all of the member benefits! Renew your 2015 annual GCCRA dues by February 10th so that
you can take advantage of our member discounts for the first seminar of the year, February 21st! Visit our website for our member discounts and member repository full of ways to improve your realtime skills!
We want to THANK YOU for your commitment and service to making our association strong and NOW is the
time to re-pledge your support. Just click here! Your GCCRA annual membership dues of $125 can now be paid by credit or debit card, or you can mail a check or money order made payable to GCCRA to our association treasurer at:
1746 Flagler Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Thank YOU again for your continued support,
The GCCRA Board of Directors
Dear GCCRA members,
If you have any questions about the new court reporting changes that were adopted by the Judicial Council (click here), we would encourage you to talk with your judges and your clerks.
Find out how your circuit wants to implement these changes. This is something that we all have to work together on.
The changes in the court reporting statue are much the same as they are now, subject to interpretation.
Make sure you are doing the best job possible, staying within the guidelines set forth by the Judicial Council.
GGCRA provides sample transcripts to members on our website and we also have a Facebook forum for discussion. In most cases, the final decision-makers will be your judges. In addition, we’ve got some great plans for ‘Keeping it Realtime’ in 2015! We’ve got a tech seminar that will be loaded with training and new ideas for our future.
Remember: When you change the way you look at things, things change. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer