Three proposed amendments about election voting

#1 – Voting for Officers and Board of Directors

#3 – Clarification of electoral process

#4 – Elections when more than two candidates are running for the same position

This grouping of proposed amendments affects when and how Members vote for the Board of Directors as well as the process for elections when there are more than two people running for a particular seat on the Board.

NOTE: Although any of these proposed amendments can be adopted without the others also being changed, for the purposes of this discussion, they are treated as a group because the reasons for suggesting these changes are similar.

Currently, nominees for an open Director position on the Board are required to run against a specific person. In all cases where three or more candidates are running for one seat, NCRA Voting Members narrow down the candidates to only two at the Annual Business Meeting. That means that only Voting Members who attend the Business Meeting can vote for all of the candidates. The remaining two candidates are included in the online voting ballot, which is open for 12 hours following the end of the Annual Business Meeting. The results of the election are announced the following morning, effectively at the start of the NCRA Convention & Expo.

The proposed amendments seek to ease some of the burdens put upon the candidates and return to a more courteous system reflective of the Association’s long history.

Proposed amendment #1, Voting for the Board of Di­rectors offers two benefits to Voting Members. First, they will have a longer period, double the prior 12-hour window, in which to cast votes in contested elections. Second, by voting prior to Convention but after the continued use of various means to allow Voting Members to vet the candidates, all Voting Members will be able to participate equally in voting.

For proposed amendment #4, Elections when more than two candidates are running for the same position, the benefits would be that all Voting Members would be in the position to choose from among all the candidates, instead of requiring a run-off phase at the Annual Business Meeting. When officers or directors are chosen by a plurality of the vote instead of by a majority, it allows for candidates for the same seats, such as the usual three Directors seats available on the Board, to be chosen by which candidates receive the most votes; that is, if three seats were available and five people were in the running to fill those seats, the people who received the first, second, and third largest num­ber of votes would fill the three seats.

Proposed amendment #3, Clarification of electoral process, simplifies the language in the Bylaws by attach­ing the preparation of the slate of nominees to the election process instead of the convention.

This proposed amendment would have an effect on several other sections of the Bylaws. One area would be to delete the requirement to choose a candidate to run against. If adopted, the new amendment will put in place a more current practice for elections that would benefit all members by decreasing any rancor.

In the proposed system, candidates would be announced several months in advance of the change-over of the Board of Directors, as happens now. If two or more candidates are running for any open position, NCRA Voting Members would vote on candidates by electronic means, and the person with the most votes would win the open seat. If multiple candidates were running for open directorships, all of the duly nominated candidates would be listed on the electronic ballot, and the open director seats would be filled by the people who receive the top votes. Elections could take place electronically a month beforehand with members allowed to vote for a 24-hour period.

#2 – Voting on Bylaws Amendments

The current Constitution & Bylaws limits electronic voting on proposed Bylaws amendments to 12 hours. The proposed amendment would double the amount of time for voting on amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws to 24 hours to allow more Voting Members to participate.

General practice among other associations with electronic voting is at least a full day.

The myths, mysteries, and misunderstandings of legal video

Talk Daily News posted an article on May 24 that notes, for the best experience using a legal videographer, firms should chose professionals who hold the NCRA CLVS certification.

Read more.

Five tips to help attorneys, paralegals, and court reporters to build mental stamina

A blog posted May 24 by JD Supra by Kramm Court Reporting offers tips for attorneys, court reportersvideographers, and paralegals to help them perform in their jobs at the highest level.

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NCRA member Penny Wile profiled in business news

NCRA member Penny Wile, RMR, CRR, Norfolk, Va., owner of Penny Wile Court Reporting, was profiled in an article posted May 21 by Inside Business, The Hampton Roads Business Journal. The article was generated by a press release issued by NCRA about Wile being featured in the May issue of the JCR.

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CAPTIONING: Seven tips for surviving tornado season

Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

By Carol Studenmund

It’s Tornado Season 2018. Many live captioners live and work in Tornado Alley. People who live in this part of the country know where to go and what to do when the bad weather starts. We should all plan ahead and be ready to work during unstable conditions. You may not get a tornado, but you may experience severe hail or thunderstorms that could interfere with your ability to work. Here are seven things you can do to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way this time of year.

  1. The most important thing you can do is to plan ahead. Don’t wait for the sirens to go off before you figure out you need to run. And if you need to run for safety, run!
  2. Track your weather. Don’t be caught off guard by a storm that’s been headed your way for a few hours or even a few days.
  3. If your employer or the company for whom you’re captioning has a coordinator on duty, let that person know you may become indisposed due to weather as soon as you know. Give them the benefit of a heads up.
  4. If you’re working for your own clients, have an alternate captioner you can call on short notice. Let that person know you might need some help as soon as you see those radar screens lighting up on your weather channel.
  5. It takes really bad weather to knock out telephone land lines. Keep an analog phone handy for your land line, one that does not need electricity to work. Often, land lines will continue to work even if the electricity goes down or your cell phones aren’t working.
  6. Have an uninterrupted power supply on all your equipment – all of it, including digital phones and your router. Test all your equipment in advance, once a year, say, in February. Make sure you’re ready for unstable weather.
  7. Get a hotspot or mifi and keep it charged so you can stay connected to the internet in case your power goes out. Between your hotspot and your battery backup, you may be able to keep working just long enough to get someone to take your show for you.

Stay safe this year! If you plan ahead, you will be well prepared when the storms hit.

 

Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, is Owner/President of LNS Captioning in Portland, Ore. She is Co-Chair of NCRA’s Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) Certification Committee and is a member of the NCRA Nominating Committee. She can be reached at cstudenmund@LNSCaptioning.com.

How to pick the best court reporting services for your clients’ depositions

Newswire.net posted an article on May 19 that offers tips for picking the best court reporting firm for a client’s deposition.

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Legal Eagle expands services with acquisitions

Legal Eagle, based in Greenville, S.C., announced in a press release issued May 7, that the firm has agreed to acquire Cannon Court Reporting, also based in Greenville, and Freelance Reporting Services of Spartanburg, S.C.

Read more.

How to reduce the size of a pdf file

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR

By Lynette Mueller

When you have a large file, it may not be easy to share through standard methods. It’s useful to know how to compress pdfs.

Prior to scanning your exhibits and documents, be sure to adjust your settings in your scanner app. For those times when perhaps you get scanned docs from a paralegal or attorney and the file size is extremely large and you want to link the exhibits to your transcript or you need to send a transcript via email and not sure a client will be able to receive it, reduce the file size of the doc using these options:

  1.  My first choice is Smallpdf. Just drag-and-drop your PDF file in the box, wait for the compression to complete, and then download your file. It’s that simple. All the file compressing takes place in the cloud and will not consume any capacity from your own computer. Best of all? Smallpdf.com is browser-based and works for all platforms. It doesn’t matter if you use Mac, Windows, or Linux.
  1. Acrobat offers a tutorial to reduce file size.
  1. Another option for compressing pdfs is Split_pdf.

Lynette Mueller’s ScanSnap settings

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR

By Lynette Mueller

If you decide to use ScanSnap, Lynette Mueller, RDR, CRR, of Germantown, Tenn., chair of the Realtime and Technology Resources Committee, shared her settings.

  1. You can choose the destination file of all your scanned documents. I scan to Dropbox because it’s so easy to access all my files from one device to the next.
  2. Prior to scanning, you may choose your File Name Format (custom name). Then, choose serial number so that as you scan the software will automatically add the number of your exhibit at the end of your custom name. This saves so much time.
  3. Scanning Tab: Image Quality, Normal; Color mode, Auto color detection; Scanning side, Duplex Scan (double-sided). Check the box for “Continue scanning after current scan is finished.”
  4. Select your File Format options. PDF or JPEG
  5. Paper tab: Paper size, Automatic detection; Multifeed Detection, Check Overlapping (Ultrasonic).
  6. Compression tab: Compression, (Low); File size, 3. I find the 3 setting still provides a very legible and readable PDF.

Lynette L. Mueller, RDR, CRR, is a freelancer reporter in Johns Creek, Ga. She can be reached at lynette@omegareporting.comShe reports that a short video will be on her blog at the beginning of the article.