By Phyllis Craver-Lykken
The NCRA STRONG Committee has been reaching out to showcase the value of stenographic court reporting in new and dynamic ways. Earlier this year, Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a past president of NCRA and a member of the NCRA STRONG Committee, accepted a job working with a judge who (pre-Terry) was ambivalent as to whether a digital system in the courtroom would be more beneficial than a live stenographic court reporter. Judge Adolfo Tornichio related to Terry that she was going to need to prove the value of keeping a stenographic reporter the first day they met. As you may envision, Terry rose to the occasion and was able to demonstrate the enormous value realtime access to a verbatim record brings to a busy courtroom. What’s more, the court administrator is on board with the judge in fully understanding and embracing the benefit of steno vs. digital courtrooms. A little education plus the demonstration of our extraordinary skillset goes a long way.
What happened next is Terry thought it would be helpful for all court reporters if both her judge and the court administrator in her county courthouse would go on record and talk about their advocacy and support. Terry shared her vision with the NCRA STRONG Committee and we went to work and created a number of questions to pose to both Judge Tornichio and Court Administrator Ron Mellotte.
As word of this idea got out, another reporter captured a video of her judge advocating for live stenographic court reporters in the courtroom. Some of the clips were shown during an NCRA STRONG presentation in Las Vegas during the 2021 NCRA Conference & Expo. We are now posting several video clips for members to be able to view and/or provide to their own judges and court administrators when or if they are asked to extol some of the reasons why live court reporters make a better record and ensure equal access to justice for all parties involved in the justice system.
These video clips are being posted with a brief description of the questions so you have a preview of the clip content in advance of viewing the video. If you have a judge who is advocating for your services in the courtroom, ask if they would be willing to say a few words as to why they think it’s important to keep court reporters in the courtroom. NCRA STRONG would like to have a library from across the nation of similar video clips from judges everywhere.
To view the NCRA STRONG video clips, visit the NCRA STRONG resource library.
Phyllis Craver-Lykken, RPR, is a freelance court reporter from Seattle, Wash., and a member of the NCRA STRONG Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.