Sep 172014
 

GSRA Live Event

 

GSRA/GCCRA PODCAST SCHEDULES

 

Please join us for two scheduled podcasts for Georgia reporters this Thursday, September 18, 2014. 
7:30 pm Podcast – Georgia responds to CRCM recs.
9:00 pm Podcast – Georgia responds to the Judiciary
ALSO………………………

Judicial Council Meeting Begins at 10:00 a.m., September 25th.  

We will all begin meeting at 9:15 a.m.

More details to follow.

TO ALL COURT REPORTERS IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA:

Your state associations are strongly urging you to attend the

GSRA/GCCRA podcasts regarding the CRMC’s changes to

the proposed recommendations which will become effective January 1, 2015.

There are critical issues such as ER in the courtrooms

and its spilling over in the deposition market. 

Please attend and make an informed decision about

whether or not you should be concerned.

With reference to the issues involving budgetary measures and

business continuity in our industry, we will be stepping backwards. 

The impact and consequences of these changes are real. 

Whose responsibity will it be to clean up the mess and is anybody listening?

Harsh words?  Maybe.  True words?  Absolutely!  

 

We realize that there are reporters who feel that their input will be overlooked. 

That is wrong.

We continue to educate those on the Judicial Council up until and including

the 25th of September when the Judicial Council meets to encourage common

sense and true cost-saving changes in conjunction with the advancement of

technology.

Join us Thursday as we all discuss these issues

and begin to count down the vote.

We literally need hundreds of reporters, freelance and officials, to commit to attending the Judicial Council meeting on September 25th.  Please sign up now and commit to being there.  This is so very, very important.  GSRA was told last year that supporters of court reporters were disappointed in the lack of reporter attendance.  Even though we thought we had a great showing of reporters, it wasn’t enough.  These comments were made by those who support us but need us to be there to help support them.

 

ATTENTION FREELANCE REPORTERS:

Please consider the importance of September 25th, 2014,

if asked to provide coverage for your fellow official reporters on that date. 

 We anticipate the vast majority of officials across Georgia will want to attend in a showing of solidarity.

WE MUST HAVE A STRONG SHOWING OF SUPPORT.

Aug 162014
 
Become a Court Reporter icon

If you are wondering what court reporters do and how to become one, you might find this article interesting:

According to Wikipedia,

A court reporter or court stenographer, also called stenotype operator, shorthand reporter or law reporter, is a person whose occupation is to transcribe spoken or recorded speech into written form, using shorthand, machine shorthand or voice writing equipment to produce official transcripts of court hearings, depositions and other official proceedings. Court reporting companies primarily serve private law firms, local, state and federal government agencies, courts, trade associations, meeting planners and nonprofits.

Interior of the Courthouse in Douglas County, Georgia

Courthouse Interior in Douglas County, GA.

Digital recordings allow judges to instantly play back or review any portion of the recording. A Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and a Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) offer the ability to show live transcription of the spoken record by captioning what is said to display it on a screen in real time.

Many court reporters work as freelance reporters or independent contractors outside the courtroom in depositions and other situations that require an official legal transcript, such as arbitration hearings or other formal proceedings. Court reporters also often provide real-time transcription for public events, religious services, webcasts, and educational services. Regardless of the method, stenographic, stenomask or digital, a transcript can be produced on an hourly, daily, expedited or standard turnaround.

Court reporters are also employed by television producers and stations to provide real-time closed captioning of live programs for the hearing-impaired. To read the entire article, please click here to visit Wikipedia’s Court Reporter Article.

Jul 212014
 

The following letters are from Georgia Court Reporters who have given the GCCRA permission to reproduce their messages here. These letters are excellent examples provided to show exactly how court reporting is being threatened as a profession in Georgia, and what these reporters are pro-actively doing to promote their thoughts about possible upcoming changes to policies and fees required for Court Reporting Services.

PDF IconCarol Harper – Letter to the Judicial Council

 

PDF IconMarcia Arberman – Letter to the Judicial Council

 

PDF IconRonica Parks – Letter to the Judicial Council

Jul 212014
 
Caryn Broome

Good afternoon, everyone,

THE TIME IS NOW AND THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL NEEDS TO HEAR FROM ALL OF US!

PDF IconCRMC Policies – Critical Concerns from GCCRA and GSRA: Please download and read this document!

As most everyone now knows, our profession is and has been under attack. It has been over a month since the June 4th Judicial Council meeting at Jekyll Island.  Judge Sara Doyle, Chairperson of the Court Reporting Matters Committee, has opened up the period for public comment. This window is only open for 60 days. The judicial council has a list of recommendations to vote on in September, and some of them are VERY detrimental to our profession. Whether you are an official court reporter or a freelancer, it is vitally important that you participate in our endeavor to educate the Judicial Council as to what court reporting is all about and voice your concerns regarding these proposed recommendations.

When this started, GCCRA and GSRA (Georgia Shorthand Reporters Association) immediately jumped into action and worked together to draft our own responses to this letter of recommendation. We also organized a grass roots effort to reach all of the 1100+ reporters in the state. We have been educating reporters on these recommendations and our concerns regarding them.

GCCRA and GSRA are still working together to assemble individual notebooks filled with every email and letter that you, our Georgia reporters, judges, attorneys, and any other interested party who wishes to be heard have written. These notebooks will be hand delivered to each Judicial Council member before the September 25th meeting.

September 25th is an important date for all of us, and ALL OF US need to do our best to be at this Judicial Council meeting. The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. so please be in front of the building no later than 8:30 a.m., not parking your car at 8:30 a.m., but standing in front of the building so that we can all go in together. We are not allowed to speak at this meeting and it is absolutely paramount that we show only respect for the council.

The address and phone number for the Carter Center is
453 Freedom Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30307  (404) 420-5100

 I want to personally thank each one of those judges and reporters who have written in. We are extending the deadline to next Wednesday, July 23, 2014 to send in your letter. After that, we must close the window so that we can get these letters compiled, printed, and bound. Again, I IMPLORE everyone on this email list to send in your letter. Send your letter to officeadmin@nullgccra.org. I know that GSRA and GCCRA’s goal is 600 combined letters. If over 50% of our reporters in Georgia join together, this will really make an impact for our future. And that is the collective term here: “OUR FUTURE.” These final decisions by the Judicial Council WILL AFFECT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US IN SOME WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, WHETHER IT IS TODAY OR TOMORROW.

It is VITAL that we ALL write letters and attend the September 25th meeting to show our support for our profession. Let me rephrase that:  It is VITAL that YOU write letters and are there on September 25th to show support for YOUR profession.  Whether you are machine or voice, official or freelancer, what affects one of us, affects us all.

Please allow me a moment to be very honest and forthright. When the S*&^% hits the fan and we need help for the future of our professions, all of us want our associations to step forward and work on our behalf. And both associations do Tirelessly try on your behalf to make a difference. We donate our time, effort, and talent. This is a volunteer position. Most of the folks on the board have sat on the board for years and have rotated to different positions on the board. I guess between the associations we have 20 or so board members. Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t be on the board unless we wanted to be. Nobody is being tied up against his or her will,  LOL . . .  We love serving and we love trying to make a difference in our profession, but an attractive feature of an association is that it eliminates much of the responsibility of the reporter.

Unfortunately the price of that convenience is sometimes the creation of an atmosphere for apathy. We tend to allow that elite group known as “them”or “they” to operate the Association, attend related meetings, and make important decisions. We need to realize that “them and they” are always made up of “I, we, you, and us.” We all tend to be too busy to participate in association affairs and expect others to stay up-to-date on the affairs of our industry. But IF any association is to be successful, individual reporters must become active and participate in association affairs.

I will go further to say that without YOU the reporters, we are just board members without a cause; we are just not as effective. Dare I say that MOST of the reporters in our state aren’t members of either association? Why is that?

But there is one thing I do know. There is strength in numbers. Your associations NEED YOU to be a part of them. WE NEED YOU to connect with us and with each other. WE NEED YOU to join in our fight for YOU to help keep YOUR future bright! We NEED YOU to support your association so we can do these things.  WE NEED YOUR time and YOUR talents and YOUR love and concern for YOUR profession!

So now is the time for us to ask for your support by becoming a member of your association. Association membership is something reporters in our industry think of as optional, but with YOUR help, OUR accomplishments could become mind-blowing and industry altering.

So what can YOUR association accomplish?  Here are some things to look at:

  1. TOGETHER, WE ARE STRONGER: Look at what is happening now with the AOC. I think that the AOC would like to get rid of reporters. There, I said it. I really think that. What can we do about that? GCCRA is determined to represent court reporters in this “fight” with the AOC.  We are asking you to join the association because a portion of your membership goes directly to the DEFENSE FUND to help fight for ALL OF US!  Together, we can work towards this goal of realtime capable.  Together, we can afford a lobbyist to give us that time to work towards this goal.  Together, we can set the standard in Georgia for reporting excellence and stop ER in its tracks.
  2. GCCRA represents ALL reporters: voice and steno have an equal vote and an equal standing.  The GCCRA Board feels strongly that no one reporter or groups of reporters should be seen as the “vocal minority.”  We represent all methods of takedown.  All are important to us and all are important for sustaining all aspects of reporting.  We would love to have you join our association.  I am personally inviting you to do so now.
  3. COST: Some folks think that association membership is so expensive; they can’t afford it.  Membership is $125 per year and $25 of that goes to the Defense Fund to keep our lobbyist able to fight for the rights of ALL REPORTERS.  Let’s break that down.  Association membership costs you 34 cents per day.  That is 1/3 the cost of a cup of coffee.  When you calculate it out, and see it as a daily number, we know that you can look at that and understand it’s very affordable to have YOUR association working for you on a larger scale each and every day.
  4. I’d have to be involved, or go to meetings:

Membership in GCCRA does not come with requirements for attendance to anything. Supporting the association with dues is one of the most important gestures a reporter can make.  Those funds go towards all of the activities that we’re involved in such as the upcoming October 4th seminar that is just $75 for members!  All 10 credits in just one day!  This is for YOU!  Our board sat down and tried to find the most cost effective way for our reporters in Georgia to get their credits and most of our board is volunteering their time to teach or present at the seminar in order to make that happen. Now, whether or not you want to attend the board meetings, which are open to all members, the legislative functions, the reporting dinners, the annual seminars, or anything else that GCCRA holds is 100% your prerogative.

Of course, we would love to have YOUR participation to promote connectivity in the reporter community. We would love to have YOUR awesome talents as a volunteer to help us coordinate, organize and recruit other volunteers for various endeavors, YOUR wonderful stories and thoughts for our new website blog I will be posting, YOUR willingness to volunteer and mentor students and new reporters, YOUR social media skills to help get the word out about best practices or location of the court reporting dinner that Dessa offers monthly, YOUR assistance in finding data and statistics that support our work, and YOUR decision to be actively involved in moving court reporting towards a bright future!  However, if you’d rather be shopping, then so be it!

THANK YOU for letting me write to you and THANK YOU for reading this letter. Visit the rest of our new website (www.gccra.org) and I ask you to join or renew your membership!

Feel free to contact me to find out more information. I am always here for you. And DON’T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR LETTER and attend the meeting on September 25th!

Kindest regards,

Caryn

Jun 262014
 

Fulton County Superior Court EmblemSuperior Court of Fulton County: As of May 15, 2015, all court reporters will be required to be certified as a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). And that’s not all the news. By May 15, 2015, those reporters in Fulton County will be required to prove that they have realtime capabilities. REALTIME CAPABILITIES. The ability to instantly send the spoken word to an end user to read. Now that Fulton County is requiring a certain level of certification and proficiency, how much longer before other counties follow suit? How many counties does it take before the entire state looks up and adjusts their standards and requirements?

And so here it is: The future is here. The future is NOW. And while you wait and wonder and worry if this future will really be “Your Future,” the future is still marching forward and may even pass you by, if you aren’t marching with it. The future of the court reporting profession in Georgia will be what the associations, the agency owners, and yes, every one of Georgia’s court reporters themselves make it to be.

As an industry, we set high expectations of ourselves. We try to produce a perfect record. And in this goal of excellence, we have always looked to cleaner ways of producing the transcript. Gone are the onion skin days and fingers  purple with carbon. Reporters have always embraced advancing technologies with the promise of quicker turnaround time and higher level of accuracy during takedown!

The only difference today is that now the courts are expecting it as well. And that ability to lower the turnaround time and increase the accuracy of takedown is here and in full swing. So why are you waiting?

And here is the GOOD news from both state associations: We are working together for the benefit of the industry and you. We know that both machine and voice writers must be recognized equally as professional keepers of the record. All reporters must adhere to our ethics code of using the best technologies available to produce the record. For if we do not, then how do we maintain our ability to be the professional keepers of the record? In today’s “instant gratification” society, where all businesses are looking to offer “same-day delivery” and smartphone apps can “stream” anything to anyone anywhere, instantly, it is time to tighten our belts and sharpen our skills in order that we may continue to sit in our rightful places in the courtrooms.

PDF IconGCCRA and GSRA find it imperative that we bring our very competent court reporters into this new standard of excellence quickly. The early-bird discount is still available until February 8!  Hurry and sign up for the GCCRA/GSRA Tech Seminar!  You don’t want to miss this positive, motivating, exciting experience! We are not approaching realtime with a fear factor, but with a fearless determination. We look forward to seeing you at the 2014 Spring Technology Seminar and helping you join the group of winning realtime court reporters who are boldly stepping into our profession’s future. Visit www.gccra.org or www.gsra.org to register today!

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