PCRA to exhibit at school counselors conference

The Legal Intelligencer reported on Feb. 13 that the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association is set to exhibit at the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association’s 60th annual conference Feb. 18 and 19 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey in celebration of the 2016 Court Reporting and Captioning Week.

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Pennsylvania announces new rules for court reporting

A Dec. 5 article in the Pennsylvania Record reported that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has adopted a comprehensive set of new rules to govern court reporting services provided to judges, lawyers, and citizens in the state’s 60 judicial districts. The article cites a news release issued by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts dated Dec. 4. The changes, which include transcript fees, the use of electronic transcripts, how to handle payments, and transcript formatting among other things, are set to go into effect June 1, 2015.

“Five years ago, a select number of reporters were chosen to participate in discussions regarding Rule 5000 revisions. We were disappointed that our suggestions were, in large part, disregarded. The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association engaged an attorney at that time to draft a response to the AOPC addressing our concerns, but communication was abruptly terminated by the AOPC. We heard nothing over the intervening five years until Dec. 5, when the order was announced,” says Kathy McHugh, president of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association.  “PCRA has formed together a committee to thoroughly review the rules and their impact on officials. With the help of NCRA and other state leaders who have reached out to us, we are developing talking points for reporters to discuss with their President Judges to facilitate a team approach in implementing these new rules.”

NCRA will work with PCRA to defend court reporters in this action.

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Stories of local U.S. military vets preserved for Library of Congress project

CBS Philly posted an article on Nov. 5 about a Veterans History Project event recently hosted by the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association and the Orleans Technical Institute. The article quotes one of the veterans who participated as well as NCRA member Julie Wilson, RPR, CRI, an official court reporter.

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NCRA members push to reach 3,500 VHP interviews for Veterans Day

Across the nation, NCRA members will mark Veterans Day by hosting Veterans History Project events, using the Nov. 11 holiday as the springboard to help the National Court Reporters Foundation reach its goal of 3,500 transcribed interviews with American war veterans. The transcripts are part of the Library’s VHP program and are available for the public to read.

“NCRA members recognize the importance of celebrating the nation’s military members and their families and are honored to be able to help preserve their stories through the Library of Congress VHP program,” said Irene Cahill, director of research and NCRF programs.

“We encourage all NCRA members to help with this important effort especially by interviewing any veterans they know, especially those who served in World War II and Korea. Veterans Day serves as a fitting time to honor our country’s veterans by helping to preserve their histories,” Cahill added.

A number of state associations have reported that they have organized VHP events within their communities and in some cases have even partnered with their state bar association or local court reporting schools.

Members of the Oregon Court Reporters Association, for example, have partnered with the Oregon State Bar’s Military and Veterans Law Section to host a VHP event Sat., Nov. 8, at locations in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford, and Bend. Read more.

In Iowa, the tradition of recording crucial, historical stories of American war veterans will continue on Nov. 7 when the Iowa Court Reporters Association and the Des Moines Area Community College School of Court Reporting jointly host a VHP day at the school’s Newton campus. More than two dozen reporters have already volunteered to conduct and transcribe interviews with veterans. For its part, the school will host a luncheon and awards ceremony for veterans, family members, and volunteers. There will also be guest speakers and videos of veterans’ trips to Washington, D.C., through the Honor Flight program. Read more.

Across the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii Court Reporters and Captioners Association will hold a VHP event on Nov. 15. In addition to veterans’ interviews, the event will also feature presentations by representatives from the First Circuit Court Veterans Treatment Court, the Act Resilient program, the Humane Society, and a service dog named Athena who serves as a Joy Ambassador for the society. Read more.

“As long as there are veterans, there are stories” is the theme touted by the Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters Association, which is sponsoring a VHP event on Nov. 7, along with the Ingham County Department of Veterans Affairs and the Ingham County Circuit Court. Read more.

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association will jointly host a VHP day on Wed., Nov. 5, at Orleans Technical Institute in Philadelphia. The event will mark the first time that PRCR and OTI have hosted a VHP event. Organizers are working with a local district judge to help recruit veterans to share their stories and have set a goal of collecting at least eight interviews. Students from OTI will also be on site to practice their own writing skills as well as participate in a luncheon with the volunteer court reporters to discuss issues related to the profession. Read more.

NCRF has partnered with the Library of Congress for more than 10 years to help generate transcripts of interviews with American war veterans for the Oral Histories Program. Professional court reporters can earn 0.25 Professional Development Credit for each transcript they complete and can earn up to a maximum of 1.0 PDC during each three-year certification period. In addition, qualifying court reporting students can earn a complimentary 2015 student membership in NCRA by transcribing interviews through the Foundation’s Student Initiatives Program.

Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association to host VHP day

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association has announced that it will host a Veterans History Project day as part of the Sports & Education Expo taking place in Philadelphia on May 31st and June 1st. The sporting event will feature a “Patriot Basecamp” for veterans and active duty personnel to visit and have the opportunity to tell their stories for transcription to volunteer court reporters from PCRA. The transcripts of the veterans’ stories will be submitted to the Library of Congress as part of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s Oral History Project. For more information, contact Kathy McHugh at kathymchugh@verizon.net.

Court reporters to transcribe Flight 93 histories

The Mercury News has reported that the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association has partnered with the National Park Service to help transcribe interviews of family, friends, first responders, and investigators as part of an oral history project at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

The national park about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh marks the site where 40 passengers and crew died in a crash after fighting for control of their United Airlines jet with four al-Qaida hijackers during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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What are you planning to do to mark National Court Reporting & Captioning Week?

In less than two weeks, 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week will kick off, with court reporters, captioners, firms, state associations, and court reporting schools hosting an array of activities to showcase the profession and to raise public awareness of the growing number of career opportunities the field has to offer.

Among them is Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn., where the court reporting school will host an on-campus “Court Reporting & Captioning Spring Fling,” on Feb. 19. The school is inviting students, reporters, judges, legislators, representatives from the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, and members of the general public to attend the event which will feature realtime and captioning demonstrations, opportunities for students to mingle with working reporters, and food and drinks.  Contact Jennifer Sati at JSati@atech.edu.

Ill ProcStenograph, based in Elmhurst, Ill., and a major product and service provider to the court reporting and caption profession, has received an official proclamation from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, recognizing Feb. 16 – 22 as the official 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Contact Dan Peterson, Director of Marketing and Inside Sales for Stenograph at DPetersen@stenograph.com.

The Oregon Court Reporters Association is urging its members to spread the word to clients, friends, and associates about 2014 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, as well as working on partnering with the Oregon State Bar to host a Veterans History Project to market the event. The State Bar will also run an ad in the February edition of their magazine using NCRA’s promotional logo to recognize the week. In addition, Carol Studemund, chair of OCRA’s Legislative Committee, has arranged for NCRA’s proclamation about Court Reporting & Captioning Week to be read at the Oregon Legislature and at the city councils of Portland, Eugene, and Beaverton. Contact Robin Nodland at rnodland@LNScourtreporting.com.

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association is planning to encourage its extensive member base to get involved with National Court Reporting & Captioning Week by engaging in a grassroots effort to promote the profession and educate local communities about the value stenographic skills bring to today’s marketplace.  PCRA is working very closely with the three nationally-accredited court reporting programs that are located in Pennsylvania to recruit and retain students and bring awareness of the profession to the public. Contact Donna Betza, PCRA President dbetza@betzaandassociates.com.

To find out how you can celebrate 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week or to find the latest in resources including press release templates, media pitches, power points, and more, please visit NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week resources page or contact the NCRA communications team at PR@ncra.org.