A court reporter shortage: Critical field faces lack of new recruits

NCRA member Melissa Grimes, RPR, an official court reporter from Calhoun City, Miss., is quoted in an article posted by The Dispatch on Dec. 1 about the current shortage of court reporters. The article also mentions NCRA’s A to ZTM program.

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Judges seek pay increases for court reporters

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Aug. 19, The Dispatch reported that the Mississippi 16th Circuit judges are seeking a pay increase for their court reporters.

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Dealing with a statewide court reporter shortage

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyWCBI, Lowndes County, Miss., reported on Aug. 16 that the state of Mississippi is experiencing a shortage of court reporters.

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MCRA invests in NCRA presentation on protecting the profession

MCRA_2017Matthew Barusch, NCRA’s Manager of State Government Relations, attended the Mississippi Court Reporters Association Annual Conference on April 27 in Biloxi to give a presentation on Protecting the Profession. In his presentation, Barusch outlined some of the issues facing court reporters in the states and discussed how to address these issues in a changing political climate.

“Giving this presentation to the Mississippi Court Reporters Association was truly a wonderful experience,” said Barusch. “This subject is critically important to the future of the profession, and I was honored and grateful to have the opportunity to teach reporters in Mississippi how to build their coalition and act as one to confront the challenges facing them.”

NCRA’s Government Relations staff is available to make presentations on this and other topics at your state convention. Email GovRelations@ncra.org to ask about getting a speaker.

2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week gains traction in media coverage

Court Reporting & Captioning Week has put a number of NCRA members in the media spotlight, sharing information with viewers and readers about the vast number of opportunities available in the field.

Kicking off the week, Christine Phipps, RPR, owner of Phipps Reporting in West Palm Beach, Fla., was featured in a story aired by CBS affiliate channel 12, while NCRA Past President Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, owner of The Varallo Group in Worcester, Mass., joined NCRA member Kathy Silva, RPR, CRR, a freelancer from Andover, Mass., in a story that aired on Mass Appeal.

Appearing in print on behalf of NCRA and the court reporting and captioning professions were NCRA members Donna Cascio, RDR, CMRS, an official court reporter from Somerset, Pa., who was interviewed by the Somerset Daily American, and Melanie Oldham, an official court reporter from Athens, Texas, who was interviewed by the Athens Daily Review. Additional coverage is expected to be generated throughout the week.

NCRA President Steve Zinone, RPR, an official court reporter from Pittsfield, N.Y., joined Tonya Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, a freelance reporter from Fort Wayne and president of the Indiana Court Reporters Association; Susan Gee, RMR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Cincinnati and president-elect of the Ohio Court Reporters Association; and Kathy McHugh, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Philadelphia and president of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association in a panel discussion at the College of Court Reporting, in Hobart, Ind., on Feb. 15. The discussion, which took place online via the college’s Blackboard Collaborate, was hosted by CCR President Jeff Moody. More than 30 participants joined the discussion to hear what the panelists had to say about the greatest challenges they faced in court reporting school and how they overcame them, as well as how they were motivated to become leaders within their associations, the benefits of membership at the state and local levels, and the importance of certification. The hour-long session was recorded and can be heard here.

On Feb. 17, Zinone will visit Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, where he will address students and faculty at the court reporting program. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at 2:30 p.m. ET which can be accessed via the college’s Smart TV channel online.

Official proclamations recognizing 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week from state and local lawmakers continue to be reported. To date, the following states have reported official proclamations: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Local proclamations have also been issued in Miami-Date County, Fla.; Johnson County, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Eugene, Ore.; and San Antonio, Texas.

Below are some of the latest activities happening during the week around the nation:

  • The New York State Court Reporters Association will host a variety of events during the week including meet and greets throughout the state.
  • Members of the Texas Court Reporters Association are will host a number of Veterans History Project events throughout the state.
  • The Hawaii Court Reporters and Captioners Association has encouraged members to display the official 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week logo on their social media sites, hang posters at courthouses showcasing the event, and reach out to state and local lawmakers to remind them of the week.
  • Members of the Oregon Court Reporters Association will participate in a number of meetings with lawmakers and advocacy groups to bring awareness to the court reporting and captioning professions.

For a complete list of activities happening to mark the 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, visit NCRA.org/Awareness. For more information, visit NCRA.org. Career information about the court reporting profession — one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree — can be found at crTakeNote.com.


Video: Lowndes County supervisors pass budget with a few tweaks

WCBI News 4 in Columbus, Miss., reported on Sept. 15 that the Lowndes County supervisors approved a pay increase for court reporters. The Lowndes County portion of that increase will equal about $17,000 a year.

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First raises in 12 years set for court reporters in Adams County, Miss.

The NatchezDemocrat.com reported on Aug. 27 that state court reporters in Adams County, Miss., and surrounding counties will be receiving raises for the first time in 12 years as a result of a law that took effect July 1. The raises will become official when the board of supervisors adopts the county’s budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

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Court reporters to see salaries rise over three-year period in 8th District

The Neshoba Democrat (Philadelphia, Miss.) reported on Aug. 26 that the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors approved significant pay increases for Eighth Circuit Court District reporters by order of the judges and also renewed the county’s employee health care plan. In accordance with a court order issued by Judges Vernon Cotten and Marcus Gordon, county supervisors agreed to support a salary increase for three court reporters over a three-year period.

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Board questions request for court reporter raises

The Dispatch reported on Aug. 15 that Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens appeared before the Lowndes County, Miss., Board of Supervisors seeking support for increasing the pay for the county’s three court reporters over the next three years.

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Court reporters key part of trials

Official court reporters Melanie Morel, RPR, and Cindy Zelinka were featured in an article posted on Feb. 24 by The Dispatch, Columbus, Miss. The article offers a glimpse of what it’s like to serve as official court reporters for the Clay County Circuit Court and insight from the women about what made them choose the career.

“When I was a senior in high school, I took a … shorthand class, because I thought it would be an asset for college note-taking,” Morel said in an email. “Turned out I really loved writing shorthand and love the challenge of writing faster and faster.”

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