Get ready to celebrate your certification during NCRA’s Celebrate Certification Month

Take part in NCRA’s second Celebrate Certification Month this May and share with customers, clients, and potential clients the importance of working with professionals who hold national certifications.

In any field, professional certifications are clear indicators that the people who hold them are committed to their chosen paths and believe that taking the extra time to earn them is worth it. Many professional organizations, from accountants to doctors, offer certifications. Certification gives people seeking specific services a way to recognize that someone meets the standard level of skills for a particular job.

“Professional certification reflects our commitment to our profession and to keeping our skills polished to ensure that we provide the highest quality of service and product to our clients. NCRA is proud to recognize May as Celebrate Certification Month,” said NCRA President Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Springfield, Ohio.

During Celebrate Certification Month, NCRA members and nonmembers are also encouraged to earn a certification or to add to any they already hold. In addition to showing proficiency in various skills, numerous NCRA membership surveys have found that court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers who hold NCRA certifications make more money and are often in higher demand than their competitors.

“Earning a professional certification is one of the greatest investments we can make in ourselves as we strive to be the very best we can be every day. I urge everyone to take the time throughout the month of May to celebrate their professional certifications and those of their peers, and to take this opportunity to encourage others who do not hold professional certifications to make the investment in their careers to obtain them,” Terry added.

To help members celebrate throughout May, NCRA has made available a special resource page full of an array of materials such as a press release, social media posts, email signatures, new CART and certification fliers, and brand-new certification business cards and career business cards.

For more information about the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, contact pr@ncra.org. Share with NCRA how you celebrate the month by sending information to pr@ncra.org.

SSC announces court reporting open house

The Illinois Patch.com reported on April 9 that the South Suburban College (SSC) is hosting a Court Reporting Open House on May 9 to showcase this unique profession and wide-open job market.

Read more.

15 words and phrases that I never use

By Santo (Joe) Aurelio

There are 15 words and phrases that are so confusing that I cannot and will not use them. The principal dictionary consulted was/is Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. Each of the following words and phrases has at least two different meanings – and therein lies the problem:

  1. biannual (twice a year and every two years)
  2. biennial (twice a year and every two years)
  3. bimonthly (twice a month and every two months)
  4. biweekly (twice a week and once every two weeks)
  5. cleave (to cut and to adhere)
  6. duplicitous (deceiving and duplicative)
  7. fey (visionary, crazy, precious, and doomed)
  8. fulsome (lavish, abundant, attractive, and disgusting)
  9. inflammable (flammable and inflammable, both of which mean easily excited, ignitable, and burnable)
  10. lucked out (did well and did not do well)
  11. remit (to pay, to not pay, to defer, to cancel, to send back; [other meanings]); and sign off (to agree, to not agree, to end [as, a message]) N.B.- The phrase “sign on” can still be used since most people understand it to mean “to agree.”
  12. cash back – with reference to sales pitches, especially automobile pitches. A price reduction is meant — not actually giving cash back to the purchaser.
  13. 110 percent — as, He’s such a hard worker, he gives 110 percent. Impossible. The most one can give of anything is 100 percent. E.g., the most energy a person can expend is all (that is, 100 percent) of his or her energy.
  14. throwaway or (see 15)
  15. disposable camera — Cameras are not thrown away or disposed of by picture takers. Cameras are returned to processors for processing. Later, the processors send those cameras to plants (as, Kodak) for the recycling of most parts of those same cameras.

Frankly, I have no problem not using the above 15 words and phrases. If I want to say, “twice a month,” I say those exact words. And if I want to say, “every two months,” I say those exact words. I never want whatever I say or write to be misunderstood. Therefore, I do not use words and phrases that have two or more meanings. So, in conclusion, as they say in court, I now rest my case.

Want to hear more of Aurelio’s take on language? Sign up for his live webinar, “Homonyms & Pseudohomonyms, The Nemesis of Reporters, Part 5,” set for April 17 at 6:30 p.m. ET. You can even earn CEUs for attending.

Dr. Santo “Joe” Aurelio, FAPR, RDR, a former official court reporter for 40 years, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education from Boston University. Dr. Aurelio is a visiting professor at colleges in the Boston area, where he teaches a variety of subjects, but mainly English grammar and medicolegal terminology. 

Hone your advocacy skills at NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp

Hurry! Registration closes April 5 for NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp taking place May 5-7 outside of Washington, D.C. This event promises attendees the ultimate in training to help them become highly effective leaders and advocates for the court reporting and captioning professions.

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the same state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Attendees are encouraged to book a room at a special rate of $239 per night at the host hotel Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The special rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast along with a nightly reception with appetizers and drinks. Remember, staying in the host hotel helps keep the registration costs of NCRA events low, so book now. The deadline to book in the room block at the special event rate is April 11.  To take advantage of this special rate, see the link at the end of this article.

A major component of successful advocacy is building good relationships through communication with lawmakers. NCRA’s Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp devotes a significant portion of the program’s focus to helping attendees learn the ins and outs of doing just that by providing the groundwork to design strategies and offering the opportunity to test those strategies through role-playing. Attendees will be broken into groups, given roles, and provided with a scenario so they can practice their lobbying skills. They will also have the opportunity to participate in mock hearings and earn prizes for the best presentation.

Other highlights on the 2019 schedule include a session about the do’s and don’ts of lobbying that will be led by Mike Goodman, vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. Goodman, former chief of staff for Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin), will teach attendees how to speak to legislative staffers and their bosses and what to do and not to do when advocating for the profession. Additional sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work; politics 101; understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative; the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions; how to mobilize a membership; successfully use grassroots advocacy; and more.

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

Remember: Registration closes on April 5, so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

To take advantage of the special host hotel rate, click here or call 1-800-EMBASSY and reference group code: MLV.

HLAA to celebrate 40th anniversary at 2019 convention in Rochester, N.Y.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Bethesda, Md., announced in a press release that it will mark its 40th anniversary during its 2019 Convention being held June 20-23 in Rochester, N.Y., which will feature keynote speaker Rebecca Alexander, a psychotherapist, disability rights advocate, group fitness instructor, extreme athlete, and author, who has hearing and vision loss.

Read more.

Learn the do’s and don’ts of effective advocacy at NCRA’s Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp

Registration closes April 5 for NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp taking place May 5-7 outside of Washington, D.C. State leaders, don’t miss this opportunity to hone your leadership and lobbying skills at NCRA’s premier advocacy educational event designed to teach you how to be an effective leader for the court reporting and captioning professions and experience what it is like to advocate on Capitol Hill.

If you are a state leader or are aspiring to become one, this event is for you.

“Everyone who moves up to the vice president position in our state association gets the option of going to NCRA’s boot camp, and that is my next role come April,” said Rebecca Brewer, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from St. Louis, Mo., who is attending this year’s Boot Camp for the first time. “I will be attending with the president-elect of our board. I hope to get insight into the do’s and don’ts of talking to our legislators and learn the skills to help me be a good leader on our board, as well as gain some tips on how it all works at the Capitol.”

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Once an attendee registers, they will receive a confirmation email with a link to book a hotel room at a special rate of $239 per night at the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The special rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast along with a nightly reception with appetizers and drinks. Remember, staying in the host hotel helps keep the registration costs of NCRA events low, so book now. The deadline to book in the room block is April 12.

Brewer and other attendees will learn more about the do’s and don’ts of lobbying in a session that will be led by Mike Goodman, vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. Goodman, former chief of staff for Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin), will teach attendees how to speak to legislative staffers and their bosses and what to do and not to do when advocating for the profession.

Other sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work, politics 101, understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative, the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions, and how to mobilize a membership and successfully use grassroots advocacy, role playing, strategizing, and more.

“The legislative and regulatory landscape is always changing at the state and federal levels,” said Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Woodland, Utah, and NCRA’s Secretary-Treasurer. This year’s Boot Camp will mark the sixth one Dibble has attended.

“NCRA’s Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp arms you with the tools and techniques you need to keep balanced on that changing landscape and be better able to educate lawmakers and regulators, so they can make the right decisions when addressing issues that relate to the court reporting and captioning professions,” she added.

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

Remember: Registration closes on April 5, so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

Register now for the premier advocacy education experience

If you are a state leader or are aspiring to become one, don’t miss NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp happening May 5-7, outside of Washington, D.C. Registration is now open, and spots are filling fast. This event is NCRA’s premier advocacy educational event designed to teach state leaders how to be effective for the court reporting and captioning professions and experience what it is like to advocate on Capitol Hill.

“This is absolutely the best investment state associations can make in their leadership teams,” said Phyllis Craver Lykken, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Yakima, Wash., who has attended NCRA’s Boot Camp before. She noted that the Washington Court Reporters Association (WCRA) is planning to send at least one of its future leaders to “muscle up” at this year’s event.

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Once an attendee registers, they will receive a confirmation email with a link to book a hotel room at a special rate of $239 per night at the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The deadline to book a room at the special rate ends on April 12.

Craver Lykken said that, while serving as WCRA president, a bill was introduced in the state legislature to eliminate the state’s mandatory Court Reporting Practice Act.

“Our association was without a lobbyist at the time, and although we were blindsided and utterly panic-stricken, we were able to swing into action and utilize literally every aspect of the steps several of us had been trained to undertake by attending NCRA’s Boot Camp,” she said. “Working together, our board was able to quickly mobilize reporters from across the state into a boots-on-the-ground grassroots effort to convince members of the legislature that dismantling our existing law would be a big mistake. We succeeded in the very first hearing and saved our Court Reporting Practice Act. We could not have done that without the necessary training. This year it’s been expanded to include more aspects of leadership training. Fantastic idea! I’ve attended it three times, learning something new every single time.” 

The 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp will kick off with a session that will cover what attendees need to know about participating in the event. Other sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work, politics 101, understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative, more about the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions, and how to mobilize a membership and successfully use grassroots advocacy — and that’s just the first day!

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

“Boot Camp is a truly immersive experience. If there’s one thing you need to know in advance, it’s don’t plan on bringing any work with you or doing any sightseeing during the event. You’ll be busy every single minute,” said Liz Harvey, RPR, CCR, a freelance court reporter from Seattle, Wash., who has attended before.   

“The fact that Boot Camp is held in our nation’s capital makes it especially inspiring. To be able to take the training we received and immediately put it into action on Capitol Hill is truly rewarding. It’s an experience you won’t duplicate anywhere else,” Harvey added.

Remember, registration closes on April 5 so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

Call for 2019 DSA nominations: Recognize that special professional

Has a peer or colleague gone above and beyond to support NCRA and the court reporting and captioning professions? Then consider nominating that person for NCRA’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award (DSA). The deadline to nominate someone for NCRA’s 58th DSA is March 15.

The DSA is the highest honor NCRA can bestow on a member. It recognizes the distinguished work and service by an individual member for the benefit of the court reporting profession, including service to NCRA as a member, a committee member, a director, or an officer of the association. Other displays of distinguished work include contributing to the JCR or service at a state court reporters association or in the field of public relations or public affairs. Award winners are recognized at the NCRA Convention & Expo.

“While attending the convention I had no idea I would be receiving this great honor. I do recall that about four years ago my dear friend Louis Rennillo sent my name in to be nominated. But not having heard about it again, I didn’t think about it,” said 2018 DSA recipient Heywood (Woody) Waga, FAPR, RMR, CRR (Ret.), a retired court reporter from Montclair, N.J. “I just thought the DSA Committee had so many more names of people more deserving of this great honor. I still feel that way. There are great reporters who have been overlooked,” he added.

“When the description of the recipient was being announced, all of a sudden I realized they were talking about me. My daughter, Lauren Schechter (a great CART reporter), was sitting next to me and smiling; she said, ‘Dad, go get your award.’”

Only voting members of NCRA or recognized court reporting associations can submit nominations that will be eligible for consideration. In addition, nominations must include information supporting why the nominee should be considered. Finally, DSA candidates cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or the NCRA Board of Directors.

The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to encourage and recognize work amounting to distinguished service by individual members for the benefit of the reporting profession. A recipient of the DSA:

  • Must be a Registered Member of NCRA in good standing or a Registered Retired Member who was a member in good standing upon retirement
  • Cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or an active officer or director of the Association
  • Must have been involved in NCRA affairs on an extensive level, along with service to state and other reporting associations, public affairs and public relations, writing for association publications, and the advancement of the profession

“Receiving the DSA has meant the depth of accomplishment to me. There is no greater reward than to be recognized by your peers. It came to me at a particularly sensitive period in my career. I had retired a short while ago, and I truly missed the involvement and challenges to overcome. I guess that’s for others to do their own way. I respect that,” Waga said.

“I hope that other professional members would think of worthwhile candidates to receive this great award in the future and send in their nomination. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say, ‘I love the profession of court reporting as well as this great association representing the interests of all its members.’”

Voting members of NCRA may submit nominations through an online form, by email to dsa@ncra.org, or by mail to NCRA, Attn: DSA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, VA 20191, by March 15. Click here for more information.

Chimniak Court Reporting is featured firm on Project Law Day in suburban Chicago

Fox 21 reported on March 5 that Chimniak Court Reporting, Chicago, Ill., recently participated in the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers Project Law Day.

Read more.

The Men of Court Reporting

By Rich Germosen

Rich Germosen and Anthony Frisolone

Have you ever noticed that court reporting is a field dominated by the lovely ladies?  No? Oh, I have. When I first started this journey in September of 1990, I was one of six males in two theory classes with a combined 106 students. As you can imagine, as a young man, this was a beautiful thing. It is something that I got used to very quickly. I know back in the 1950s and 1960s, court reporting was a male-dominated field. Not so today.

This year as 2019 Court Reporting & Captioning Week approached, I had a thought: Wouldn’t it be great to highlight the Men of Court Reporting on Facebook? I started the week with a post indicating that I was going to be highlighting some of the Men of Court Reporting. I started by posting pictures of my male court reporting friends who I’ve met at the conventions every summer the past several years. Then the idea sort of took off, and I started to highlight and post a picture of every male court reporter that I knew.

Some comments from a couple of female court reporters suggested that highlighting the men of this great field was something that was long overdue. It started to become a group effort as some male court reporters such as Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR; Michael Bouley, RDR; Reid Goldsmith, CRI; Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR; and others started sending me suggestions to post this gentleman, or we need to post this gentleman as well.

Carlos Martinez

If you go to my personal Facebook page, the “Men of Court Reporting” posts are all there with a public setting, so that anyone can view them all, and I also used the hashtag #CRCW2019.

I thought it really made the week very special for all the hardworking men who are in this female-dominated field. There were a lot of men who I didn’t post since I don’t know everyone, but I gave it my best shot. Thank you, men of court reporting!


Dave Collier

Also in the back of my mind, I was thinking that other young men might perhaps see how many men there are in court reporting and would think of going into this industry.

Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR, is a  freelance court reporter from North Brunswick, N.J.