Mar 242015

I was once told, “whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.”  The fun part of this thought is deciding what do you want to be better at?

If you are like most reporters, you want to grow your professional skills.  Find ways to improve yourself and your career.  If this is you, then we have something in common.  I’m very passionate about professional growth, which seems to usually help my personal growth.

Here are some ideas to help you polish the diamond inside you!

Wake up early, okay, just a little bit earlier.  Waking up early improves your productivity and your quality of life.  When you wake up early, take a few minutes to tell yourself that YOU deserve this time YOU are making for YOU!

Write a letter to your future self about a 30-day, 60-day, and 1-year challenge.  What are you going to do for the next 30 days, 60 days, and 1 year that is going to make a difference in your reporting skills?  Where do you see your reporting career in two years, five years?  Will you be the same?  Different?  What specific skills do you want to develop?  Really, sit down and writer that letter and then seal it.  Make a date in your calendar to open it in 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year from now.  Smile when you see how close you are to those goals!

Real growth comes with hard work and sweat.  I have been told numerous times, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”  Pick three things and change your routine up.  Do something different.  Here are some ideas I used.

  • Maybe turn off the TV for two nights a week and practice your dictation.
  • Maybe hire a scopist or proofer to open up another three to five hours a week that you can correct your user.
  • Maybe cut back on some luxury that enables you to afford to not work as much so you can add another 2 hours a week to make briefs, analyze documents, and add words to Dragon after you practice taking down the nightly news.

Put yourself up to a challenge against a colleague.  Competition is one of the best ways to grow.  Compete against a friend to see who achieves the target first.  Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

Ask for feedback and seek out a mentor.  As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots.  Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective.  Mentors can be friends, family, colleagues, or even your boss.  Ask for and receive their feedback objectively.

Stay focused with to-do lists.  I start my looking at Google Calendar – how did I live without it?  I even schedule a time to walk my dogs as it keeps me focused on the other 3 million things I need to do.  But seeing it on the calendar helps ensure I still to my plan.

Dream BIG – really BIG — Set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  A really BHAGs will stretch you beyond your normal dreams since they are BIG and AUDACIOUS – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally.  And set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious Reward.  Life is too short not to reward yourself for a job well done!

Finally, get into action.  How can you take action on this BHAG immediately?  Waiting doesn’t get anything done.  Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes!

Good luck and I hope you will share your success stories with GCCRA – we would love to post them!

Mar 052015





From the Director’s Desk of the Judicial Council Administrative Office of the Courts

The March 2015 edition of the Georgia Courts Journal is now available.  Go

to to read:

Court Reporting Policies Amended by Judicial Council
State of Judiciary Address
TRIP on target to start in March
Is it Reversible Error?
Senate Honors Long-time Juvenile Court Judge
Upcoming Events
In Memoriam
…and much more!

Marla S. Moore
Judicial Council Director
Administrative Office of the Courts
Secretary, Board of Court Reporting



Feb 092015



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; various state records

Jan 232015

You spoke we listened

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

Dec 172014

Christmas BlogLast month, as I wrote about being thankful and ways to “pay it forward” and give others a “thank you”, I’ve observed a couple things.

First, we are a blessed and fortunate industry.  To have people like you working every day to keep the record, whether a depostion, motion, or trial, and turn out that transcript in the cleansest way and quickest way possible overall shapes not only each of us individualy, but all of us and our state, and that is incredible and explains a lot about why court reporting is still a phenomenally successful industry to be in.

Second, we are not really told “thank you” enough for what we do.  In the spirit of “pay it forward,” if ever you have the chance to say something nice about someone, take it.  “Everybody is under-encouraged,” said my friend, Vickie, the other day.  I’ve hardly heard anything so true.  And it has struck me over the past few months how, when someone dies, we write and say incredibly flattering things about them.  Maybe we should say those things while they’re still here.  Maybe we should encourage and build people up, and recognize them for the good they’ve accomplished.  So let me be the first to tell all of the reporters in Georgia that YOU ARE AWESOME!  Without you, our judicial system would grind to a halt.  You work tirelessly capturing every spoken word and nonspoken gesture and then accurately put that on paper in order to maintain the rights of both the plaintiff and the defendant.

Some of you go even further for your industry and teach and mentor and serve on association boards so that other reporters may become the best they can be.

And for that, my hat is off to you, and from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the GCCRA board, I thank you for your service.  We are proud of your accomplishments and our accomplishments over the past year and are excited for an even more ambitious 2015 as we move further down the realtime road.

To our dear members, thank you all for your support as we continue to build our organization into an even more robust association welcoming all methods of takedown.  We look forward to seeing you all at the 2015 Keeping It Realtime Conference for Court Reporters.  (Details coming soon!)  If you aren’t currently a member, please visit us at and join us.  We are working hard to help you continue to be the best you reporter can be!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year’s to all who celebrate!  And for those of you who aren’t celebrating, for God’s sake, step away from the transcript and go enjoy yourself!


Dec 052014

The secret of change


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

Kindest regards,


Sep 262014

To all Georgia reporters,

All Line Items Were Passed.

The Judicial Council met today at the Carter Center. As you know, on the agenda was the final vote on the revised recommendations of the Court Reporting Matters Committee.

The scheduled 30-minute presentation and vote took well over an hour with much debate. Reporters need to digest these regulations and study their ultimate ramifications. We will bring you a more detailed report once we’ve had a chance to further study and post questions to help clear up any ambiguity that may come from the passage of these recommendations.

Stay tuned for our response.