Viola Lundberg Stafford remembered

Viola Lundberg Stafford passed away May 23, 2019, at the Medical Center of Aurora, Colo. 

Stafford was an active member of both NCRA and Colorado Shorthand Reporters Association (CSRA) for many years. Her membership at NCRA began in November 1969, and she was a member for at least 30 consecutive years before retiring from practicing as a verbatim stenographic reporter. She then became a Lifetime Retired Member. Her tenure at NCRA included earning the Certificate of Merit, the symbol of a court reporter who took her craft seriously and proudly. Her service at CSRA as treasurer and chief examiner spoke volumes of her dedication to the profession – she was involved, passionate, and committed.

Retired NCRA member Gerald Nevitt passes away

The Washington Post reported on April 28 that retired Lifetime NCRA member Gerald Nevitt, 86, RPR, formerly of Silver Spring, Md., and an official court reporter at the U.S. District Court House from 1958 to 1973 in Washington, D.C., passed away March 20 at his home in Palm Bay, Fla.

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Retired NCRA member Kenneth Blaine Meyers passes

NCRA lifetime retired member Kenneth Blaine Meyers, a former freelance and official court reporter and past president of the Washington State Court Reporters Association, passed away April 17, according to an obituary posted April 24 by the In his spare time, Ken loved fishing, hunting, camping, snowmobiling, and traveling.

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Remembering Bobby Joe “B.J.” Davis

Bobby Joe “B.J.” Davis, passed away March 29.

Bobby Joe Davis was born Sept. 30, 1938, in New Albany, Miss. He died after a battle with cancer on March 29. He and his wife, Ann, resided in Goodlettsville. He is survived by Ann and his two sons, Greg and Brad, and their families.

B.J. started court reporting in 1965 in Dallas, Texas. He was a principal in a large reporting firm in Dallas, United American Reporting, before “retiring” and moving to Tennessee to join Cleeton Davis in 1995, where he worked until taking a break in November of 2017 to receive treatment for his cancer. B.J. was a friend, encourager, and mentor to many, many reporters from Texas to Tennessee.

Celebration of Life Service: Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. visitation

Luton United Methodist Church

8363 Old Springfield Pike

Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Donations may be made to Adoration Foundation, 545 Mainstream Drive, Suite 412, Nashville, TN 37228

Retired Lifetime NCRA member Terry Lynn Jones passes

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported on April 3 that retired NCRA member Terry Lynn Jones, Jackson Hole, Wyo., an official state court reporter for 38 years, passed away on March 26.  

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Former NCRA member passes away

The Sumter Item reported on Jan. 3 that past NCRA member Virginia Gregory Roland, 67, of West Columbia, S.C., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. She worked as a circuit court reporter in the state of South Carolina Criminal Court for 20 years.

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Former NCRA member James Edward Wolfington passes away

The Seguin Gazette reported on Dec. 7 that former NCRA member James (Jim) Edward Wolfington passed away on Dec. 5 in New Braunfels, Texas.

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NCRA retired member James Edward McLaughlin passes away

Retired NCRA member James Edward McLaughlin, Mattapan, Mass., passed away on Nov. 22. He served as a court reporter the federal court s for 30 years.

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Former NCRA member Robert James Frolik passes

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported on Nov. 7 that former NCRA member Robert Frolik, 94, died on Wed., Oct. 31, in Albany, N.Y. Frokil was a past president of the Oregon Court Reporters Association.

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IN MEMORIAM: Gary Cramer, FAPR, RPR (Ret.)

Gary Cramer, FAPR, RPR (Ret.)

Gary Cramer, FAPR, RPR (Ret.)

It is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of court reporter Gary Cramer of California. Gary succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s.

With his foresight, Gary developed, drafted, and brought to the California Court Reporters Association and NCRA many initiatives and ideas, which he then pushed through to implementation based on his tenacity and fierce advocacy for the court reporting profession. Often these were ideas ahead of their time.

These are just a few of the things he accomplished:

  • He developed the Transcript Reimbursement Fund law, which has paid for millions of dollars’ worth of reporter transcripts prepared for indigent civil litigants through part of the CSR license fees.
  • He developed language that resulted in the passage of a law that allows privately hired freelance court reporters to appear as pro tempore reporters in civil court cases when an official reporter is not available. (Although this law passed more than 25 years ago, it was unfortunately put into use in 2010 after the layoff of hundreds of official reporters in the state, thereby providing work and keeping certified shorthand reporters in civil courtrooms.)
  • He created a strategy that defeated more than 25 electronic recording bills between 1973 and 2003.
  • He wrote language that requires payment for transcripts on electronic media the same as a paper transcript. (At the time, the only thing in use was 5-inch floppy disks, so this was way ahead of its time.)
  • He defeated a bill that would have affected the sale of transcript copies.
  • He wrote language that indemnifies the CSR for production of rough drafts and realtime.
  • He negotiated an agreement with the Attorney General’s office prohibiting the sale or giving away of court reporter transcripts.
  • He appeared numerous times before the California state legislature to lobby and testify at hearings in support of court reporter legislation or against legislation harmful to freelance and official reporters.
  • He addressed the Judicial Council of California, where he explained how an electronic recording proposal would have negatively impacted freelance reporters and their transcript income.
  • He was the Legislative Advisor for CCRA from 1979 – 2001.
  • He participated in 1974-75 in Xerox Corporation’s pilot project to test and develop computer-aided transcription.
  • He served on California’s Court Reporter Board for four years, with two as its chair.
  • He convinced the California Court Reporter Board to conduct an experiment to test voice writers using computers on the same test as steno candidates to determine their ability and feasibility.
  • He chaired NCRA’s legislative committee for several years and led the effort to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to protect reporters.
  • He developed NCRA’s Legislative Boot Camp and participated in training future leaders for nine years. This translated into the California Action Team Training.
  • He was appointed by the Chief Justice of California as a member of the Reporting of the Record Task Force that resulted in a comprehensive report that addressed official and freelance reporting issues.
  • He coordinated pro bono CART reporting services for the House Ear Institute, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization with a mission to support people with hearing loss.
  • He testified on behalf of court reporter issues in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

This brief list does not even touch on the work he did for the Los Angeles court reporter organizations and the unions in California.

Gary twice served as president of CCRA. He was an RPR and a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from both CCRA and NCRA. In addition, he was awarded a special “Innovator” award by CCRA to recognize the true extent of the unique work he did for the profession.

It is not an exaggeration to say many reporters in California would not have a job as a court reporter today but for the efforts of Gary Cramer.

Arnella Sims, FAPR, RPR, CRR (Ret.)
Los Angeles, Calif.