Bailey & Associates Court Reporters offering deposition suites throughout South Florida

Bailey & Associates, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., announced in a press release issued April 16 that the firm is now offering its services and luxury deposition suites in multiple locations throughout South Florida.

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Reminder: Registration for INTERSTENO Internet Keyboarding Competition closes April 22

Registration for Intersteno’s 2018 Internet Keyboarding Competition being held April 23 through May 9 via its website closes April 22. The online competition allows steno machine writers and other keyboarders to test their skills and find out how they rate worldwide. NCRA members who place in the contest will be listed in upcoming issues of the JCR and JCR Weekly.

Competitors will use the Taki software, which is a free download on the Intersteno website, and can participate on a day of their own choosing between April 23 and May 9. It’s up to the individual to decide how they want to enter the competition.

Court reporting programs can register groups of students and host a competition for a class or entire school in conjunction with the event. Court reporting students who are interested in participating should contact their instructor about registering.

For more information about the competition or to register as an individual contestant, contact NCRA at intersteno@ncra.org.

More information on the contest is available at Intersteno.org.

Interested in the Intersteno Internet Contest? Check out these stories:

Get a taste of international competition without leaving your office

NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force interviews the winners of the Intersteno Internet Keyboarding Contest

NCRA lowers prices on webinars and e-seminars for members

Just in time for Celebrate Certification Month taking place in May, NCRA has lowered prices for members on its webinars and e-seminars. NCRA’s webinars and e-seminars are popular because they allow members to earn CEUs and learn at their own pace.

The lower prices took effect April 2. For a 60-minute webinar or e-seminar, NCRA members now pay $55, compared to a nonmember price of $79. In addition, the price for a 90-minute webinar or e-seminar has been lowered to $79 for NCRA members, compared to $99 for nonmembers. To find out more about NCRA’s webinars and e-seminars, visit NCRA.org/Continuing Education.

Deadline for nominations for NCRF Board of Trustees is April 23

The National Court Reporters Foundation is accepting nominations for its Board of Trustees  through April 23. The Foundation seeks people who want to support its good work by helping to raise funds, develop and implement NCRF programs for which those monies are committed, and further the organization’s mission. NCRF serves as the charitable arm of NCRA and raises funds throughout the year to support an array of programs created to benefit the court reporting community. Among those are the New Professional Reporter Grantstudent scholarships, and the Oral Histories Program.

Service on the Board of Trustees is open to any NCRA member or a member of the public who meets specific criteria. Click here for the nomination form and more details.

How do court stenographers keep straight faces?

On April 11, The Madera (Calif.) Tribune posted an article that included excerpts from NCRA’s Disorder in the Court.

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NCRA applauds VCRA on grassroots campaign

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law SB 545, which establishes ethical standards and requirements for the provision of court reporting services. The new law prohibits providers of court reporting services from entering into contracts for more than one case. It also prohibits providers of court reporting services from entering into an action or legal proceeding with a party to an action, insurance company, third-party administrator, or any other person or entity that has a financial interest in the case, action, or legal proceeding.

NCRA CEO and Executive Director Marcia Ferranto sent a letter to VCRA’s leadership applauding the association’s members for their successful grassroots campaign that aided in garnering support for the new law.

“I want to personally applaud VCRA and your association’s ability to organize a grassroots campaign to accomplish this legislative victory. The greatest resource that the court reporting profession has is the passion and dedication of its members. Through this initiative, VCRA has shown the nation the true power and influence that court reporters have, and that with a little organizing and hard work, anything is possible.”

To read more about SB 545, visit the Virginia Legislative Information Center.

Global court reporting company reinforces sales team

Planet Depos, based in Washington, D.C., announced in a press release issued April 10 that Amanda Evans, based in San Francisco, Calif., has joined the company as account executive.

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Career Day at Foothill Technology High School

By Irene Abbey

What had my daughter gotten me into now? As a staff member at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, Calif., she had signed me up to present at the school’s career day. Yes, I had been talking about how badly reporters were needed and might have even mentioned that I’d like to have a chance to talk to the high school students, but now I was going to have to make good on my intentions.

The first thing I did was go to NCRA’s website, hoping to find some helpful material for presenting court reporting as a career. There were several helpful resources at www.DiscoverSteno.org, including flyers, a PowerPoint presentation, and a short video about the many ways reporting skills can be used for employment. [Ed. Note: NCRA maintains www.DiscoverSteno.org as a website for prospective court reporters.]

Next I made some notes about some of my more interesting experiences as a reporter. I hadn’t taken the depositions of any really famous people, but I did have some interesting court cases to talk about, as well as some CART jobs. I edited the PowerPoint a bit, embedded a link to the online video, and put it on a flash drive. Fortunately, since this is a magnet high school with an emphasis on technology, they had computers and projectors available for showing my presentation. I thought it was the perfect venue for presenting reporting as an IT career.

I made a two-sided handout and made sure I had plenty of my business cards on hand.

The school had provided a few questions that should be answered during my presentation, so I wrote up a one-page narrative answering those questions, and I was set to go.

On Career Day, I packed up my computer, steno machine, browsers, and headed to the school. I was sent to a classroom supervised by a teacher, and I set up my equipment. I had been asked to talk for 20-25 minutes and allow time for questions. The total class period would be one hour.

There are different ways to set up Career Days, and at Foothill High, the students rotate through four presentations during the day, and they are assigned to them by the staff. So no one came because they wanted to hear a court reporter. In fact, in each of my four class periods, only one to two students of the 10 to 15 there had ever heard of a court reporter.

I thought everything went very well. I went through my PowerPoint, played the video, gave my talk, and did a realtime demo. I had brought some samples of interesting transcripts, some of which I’d found on the internet and some personal. For the realtime demo, I had two student volunteers read the transcript while I took it down. I used internet-based realtime streaming, Trialbook by StenoCAT. This meant the students were able to follow my realtime on their phones or tablets (as could anyone anywhere in the world with internet access as long as they had the password). Because the Foothill mascot is a dragon, my password for the day was “Dragons,” adding a little personalization for the students. In addition, the teacher projected my realtime feed onto the large screen at the front of the classroom. Everyone agreed this was pretty cool technology, and they were amazed I could keep up while they were reading fairly fast.

I was pleasantly surprised that the students were very attentive and asked intelligent questions.  The teacher who was supervising our sessions said he was thinking of changing careers. I believe I had several who were very interested in pursuing court reporting, and I heard from school staff that the two sessions the students were buzzing about were the court reporter and the lawyer. I would gladly participate in a career day event again. The day turned out to be really fun and rewarding. In my opinion, court reporting as a career option is the best-kept secret that needs to be a secret no longer.

So what will you do to get the word out about this great job opportunity? Please consider giving some of your time to talk to a group of students or even give a talk at a service club or other community organization. It doesn’t take any special skills. Just talk about what you do. People are interested, and you can be a part of helping to mitigate the shortage of reporters.

Irene Abbey, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter based in Ventura, Calif. She can be reached at abbey.csr@sbcglobal.net.

8 things you should never say to a judge while in court

Money & Career CheatSheet posted an article on April 6 about the eight things you should never say to a judge while in court. The tips were provided by the court reporting firm of Cook & Wiley based in Richmond, Va.

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Don’t be left out of print: Update your 2018-2019 NCRA Sourcebook listing by April 15

April 15 is the deadline to update information for the 2018-2019 NCRA Sourcebook. The NCRA Sourcebook is the perfect chance for NCRA members to easily connect with other court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, and other related service providers. For the sixth year, the streamlined publication will be circulated to the entire membership. In addition, the print version of the NCRA Sourcebook is distributed at legal industry events and at conferences held for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Updating is easy. Members only need to log in using their NCRA ID# and password, then click “Login.” Under “My NCRA” follow these two steps: Choose “My Main Profile” and then choose “My Sourcebook Listings.” Make updates in both areas and be sure to click “save” at the bottom of each screen.

Any updates to a member’s record made by April 15 will be included in the 2018-2019 NCRA Sourcebook that will be mailed at the end of the summer. Updates are made to the online NCRA Sourcebook on an ongoing basis.

Please address any questions about your information to sourcebook@ncra.org.