SCAM ALERT: Hotel piracy alert for all NCRA Convention-goers

Please be aware that fraudulent companies are contacting NCRA Convention & Expo delegates about room reservations at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Convention Center. This is a scam. These companies are not affiliated with NCRA or Planet Hollywood. While they might offer an initial rate lower than the contract we have with the hotel, they have additional fees and hefty change and cancellation penalties – and there is no guarantee they will actually have a room for you. Please contact the NCRA office via email or phone (800-272-6272) if you receive solicitation for hotel or exhibit services. It is helpful if you have the name and phone number of the solicitor.

2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week participation exceeds previous year

080_resized2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week participation by states and court reporting schools exceeded the involvement reported during the 2016 event.

In addition to the national proclamation issued by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, a total of 17 states reported official proclamations compared to 11 the previous year. In addition, six court reporting programs reported holding one or more activities throughout the official week compared to five during the 2016 celebration.

“It was heartening to hear and read about all the ways our great profession was celebrated across the country,” said NCRA President Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Mechanicsburg, Pa. “This week of recognition expands each year, and I want to thank everyone who participated in this most recent celebration. I also would encourage everyone to continue to celebrate this wonderful career choice throughout the year by letting everyone know how rewarding it is,” she added.

Wood kicked off Court Reporting & Captioning Week as a guest on Stenographers World Radio where host Al Betz interviewed her about the future of the profession and the importance of the weeklong event sponsored by NCRA to raise awareness about the court reporting and captioning professions.

She also participated in a social media effort held during the 2017 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, Feb. 12-14, in Tucson, Ariz. Attendees at the event were encouraged to have their photo snapped inside a specially designed frame and post it to Facebook and other social media outlets.

Wood closed out the weeklong event by participating in the first National Court Reporters Foundation Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Veterans History Project. The event used captioners to aid in interviews with several veterans who are deaf and hard of hearing, including two who served in World War II. The event was held at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md., and drew Washington, D.C.-area media coverage.

In Ohio, students and faculty at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Cuyahoga, Ohio, hosted an information table in the main areas of the campus that featured a prize wheel students from all majors could spin. Prizes ranged from a pen to a pad folio and the opportunity to hear more about a rewarding career in court reporting or captioning.

Other activities sponsored by Tri-C included asking court reporting program students to provide the names of people they thought would be a good fit for the profession in exchange for being entered into a drawing. A Coffee with Court Reporters event was also held for current students featuring coffee and NCRA-decorated cookies provided by the program’s Court Reporting and Captioning Club. Among the guest speakers were NCRA member Michelle Harper, RPR, a freelance reporter from Brunswick, Ohio; a captioner; an attorney; Tri-C’s western campus president; an associate dean; and NCRA Vice President Sue Terry, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Springfield, Ohio.

Brown College of Court Reporting in Atlanta, Ga., also celebrated the week by hosting a series of speakers throughout the week. Among those were Caryn Broome, a CART captioner; Maxyne Bursky, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter; and Heidi Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner. The speakers addressed such issues as what to expect from an externship and what it takes to become a successful CART captioner.

NCRA member Candice Sanders, RPR, also led two interactive workshops that focused on transitioning from a graduate to a working reporter.

Read the complete list of events that occurred at the national, state, and local level during 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week here.

And the winners are…

Sponsor_StudentIn honor of 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, NCRA’s Student Committee challenged court reporting students to transcribe as many tests as possible during the week to qualify for a prize. First place was awarded to Angela Patla, a student at South Suburban College, Oak Forest, Ill. Robyn Broyles a student at GateWay Community College, Phoenix, Ariz., earned second place, and Evie Morris, a student at the Court Reporting Institute of St. Louis, Mo., earned third place.

Under the contest’s rules, participants did not have to pass the tests, simply transcribe them. The first place winner Patla will be awarded a copy of NCRA’s RPR Study Guide, Broyles will have the choice of a one-year student membership to the Association or one leg of the RPR Skills Test, and Morris will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Students who participated in the challenge were also required to submit a test verification form signed by both the student and a teacher.

“When I heard of the contest, I was debating on whether or not I should go for it. Winning the RPR Study Guide book was definitely something that pushed me in doing the contest,” said Patla, who won top honors by transcribing 31 tests during the competition.

“Although court reporting and transcribing came fairly easy to me since I started the program, I think participating in this contest helped a lot with my transcribing skills. It gave me a chance to feel what it was like to have a deadline on something like I would if I was on a job out reporting.”

Patla, who is almost through with 190 Testimony, is done with Jury Charge and is working on her 180 Literary. She plans to either freelance or work as an official court reporter when she graduates. She attributes her choice of court reporting as a career to her mother.

“My mom actually helped me choose court reporting my junior year of high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do. She mentioned to me a few different ladies in the area that we know who are court reporters. Right away I was interested, and I went to South Suburban’s open house. I couldn’t wait to graduate school and get started with the program,” said Patla.

Second place winner Broyles said she decided to take the challenge because she actually enjoys typing up transcripts and because the prizes were so enticing.

“I learned to recognize a few strokes that I was missing on a regular basis,” she said about participating by taking 16 tests. “I just passed my last 180 Literary test. I’m working hard to finish up Jury charge and Q&A. My resolution for 2017 is to pass all legs of the RPR and get to work,” she added.

Broyles said she is excited about all of the opportunities that will be available to her upon graduation. She currently works as a litigation secretary and bankruptcy paralegal.

“I almost went to court reporting school in 1993, but I went to paralegal school instead because I thought I would eventually go to law school,” said Broyles. “I decided to go back to school for court reporting when I met a very talented and successful closed captioner who has the kind of flexibility and earning capacity I’m looking for.”

Guardian of records

jcr-publications_high-resIn recognition of Court Reporting & Captioning Week, the Lexington Clipper-Herald ran an article on Feb. 18 showcasing the career of a local official court reporter from Lexington, Ky.

Read more.

County not yet hit by court reporter shortage

jcr-publications_high-resSarah Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CRC, was interviewed about the court reporting profession in an article posted by the Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio, on Feb. 18. Nageotte, a past president of NCRA, is an official court reporter from Jefferson, Ohio.

Read more.

Consider a new career in court reporting

jcr-publications_high-resGood Day Wisconsin on FOX News 11, Green Bay, aired a story on Feb. 16 about court reporting that featured NCRA member Sheri Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC. Piontek is president of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association.

See more.

Salute to court reporters — the silent witnesses to history

jcr-publications_high-resOn Feb. 18, the Rapid City [S.D.] Journal posted a feature article about the court reporting profession. The article quotes NCRA member Teresa Fink RMR, CRR, an official court reporter from Rapid City, S.D., and president of the South Dakota Court Reporters Association.

Read more.

Why I became a court reporter

jcr-publications_high-resA blog by Planet Depos and posted by JD Supra Business Advisor on Feb. 20 features reasons why several of the firm’s members became court reporters. The blog was in honor of 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.

Media covers first NCRF Hard-of-Hearing Heroes event

News 4 Derrick Ward spoke to Veterans History Project participant Fred Becchetti of Annandale, Va., during NCRF's Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project, a new initiative that is part of its work with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

News 4 Derrick Ward spoke to Veterans History Project participant Fred Becchetti of Annandale, Va., following NCRF’s Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project, a new initiative that is part of its work with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Washington, D.C., news channel NBC4 joined volunteers and veterans at the National Court Reporters Foundation’s first Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project event, which was held at the Hearing Loss Association of America office in Bethesda, Md. A segment aired on the station on Feb. 18. The Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project, supported by an Innovation Grant from the ASAE Foundation, seeks to preserve the stories of America’s war veterans with hearing loss using CART captioning. The Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project is an offshoot of NCRF’s continued work with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). NCRF will use grant funds to host Hard-of-Hearing Heroes VHP Days across the nation.

Read more about the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project.

See the video aired by NBC4 of Washington, D.C.

Firm Owners Executive Conference combines fun and learning for attendees

More than 180 attendees and guests networked between educational sessions at the 2017 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference held Feb. 12-14 in Tucson, Ariz.

080_resizedKeynote speaker Susan Solovic took to the stage and shared with attendees her insights and secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Solovic, an Internet pioneer who cofounded and grew one of the first video-based Internet sites to a million-dollar-plus entity, is also an award-winning serial entrepreneur and best-selling author. Learn more about Solovic’s presentation.

Also on the bill was Laurie Forster, one of America’s leading wine experts and author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. Forster hosted a wildly successful fun-filled networking session where attendees identified wines and teamed up to develop their own wine and brand.

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Attendees present their wine brand during the “Name That Wine” session

Multi-time attendee Anthony Krause, vice president of McCorkle Litigation Services in Chicago, Ill., said he enjoyed keynote speaker Solovic as well as the networking opportunities that were available.

“I have attended perhaps many Firm Owner events. I would tell someone thinking of attending to be sure and attend the main seminars as well as all of the networking events,” he said.

Other highlights of the event included a presentation by Mike Nelson, NCRA CEO and Executive Director, of the findings from NCRA’s 2016 Firm Owners Economic Benchmarking Survey, and two sessions led by Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, owner of The Varallo Group, Worcester, Mass., that addressed “Mobilizing Your Dreams: A 21st Century Strategic Plan” and “Journey to the Center of a Client Decision.”

Firm Owners attendees participate in the poker run

Firm Owners attendees participate in the poker run

“The networking opportunities were great. I also learned a lot of good marketing strategies, which I am already employing in my business,” said first-time attendee Beth Fein, CLVS, with BWA Video in Houston, Texas.

Other sessions addressed understanding financial statements and competing successfully. Attendees also participated in a poker-run nature-hike networking event and a special Valentine’s Day closing reception.

The 2018 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference is scheduled for Jan.28-30 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.