Captions play a crucial function in the daily lives of millions

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Dec. 7, TVTechnology.com posted an article by P. Kevin Kilroy, CEO of VITAC, discussing why the best approach to captioning remains rooted in the human experience of the spoken word.

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Local groups work to end court reporter shortage and speed up Tulsa County case flow

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyFOX 23 News in Tulsa, Okla., aired a story on Dec. 12 about local groups working to end the court reporter shortage in an effort to speed up Tulsa County case flow. NCRA member Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, an official court reporter for 18 years, is interviewed in the story.

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Longtime court reporter looks back on time spent in historical building

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Tulsa Business & Legal News posted an article on Dec. 5 that features former NCRA member Glenn Dorrough, a retired U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma court reporter, reflecting on a 30-year career.

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From my heart: It is a privilege to serve you!

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a Nov. 28 post on the Paradigm Reporting blog, Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, reflects on how a trip with fellow firm owner Lisa DiMonte, RDR, CMRS, provided lessons on “overdelivering on high expectations.”

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California court reporter earns national certification

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Fresno Bee reported on Nov. 21 that NCRA member Sandy Edmonson, RDR, CRR, CRC, from Hanford, Calif., recently earned the Registered Diplomate Reporter certification. The article was generated by a press release issued on her behalf by NCRA.

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Montana court reporter earns national certification

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Sidney Herald reported on Nov. 21 that NCRA member Emily Niles, RMR, CRR, CRC, from Bozeman, Mont., recently earned the Certified Realtime Captioner certification. The article was generated by a press release issued on her behalf by NCRA.

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NCRA MEMBER PROFILE: Terra Torres, RMR, CRR, CRC

Resides:  Appleton, Wis.

Terra Torres, RMR, CRR, CRC

Terra Torres, RMR, CRR, CRC

Employment type: Official reporter

Member since: 1996

Graduated from: Gateway Technical College

Why did you decide to enter this profession, and how did you learn about the career?

I was a straight-A student but didn’t have the approval of my parents to attend a four-year college. My high-school counselor knew of this and told me I could still have a good career by attending a tech school and becoming a court reporter. I didn’t even know what a court reporter was at the time but the promise of a good salary and only two years of schooling drew me.

What has been your best work experience so far in your career?

Whenever I provide realtime, I feel both scared and incredibly proud of myself. It’s always challenging but also the only way we can distinguish ourselves from electronic recording and set ourselves as an integral part of the courtroom.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?

Passing the RMR, CRR, and CRC exams.

What was your biggest hurdle to overcome, and how did you do so?

My biggest hurdle to overcome in this profession has always been confidence. I had the skills but I’d walk into a deposition very timid with counsel and nervous about what I’d encounter. It took a long time to realize I needed to get over my fears and that I was good enough. My advice to newer reporters is still practice your writing skills after graduation, and then don’t be afraid to accept tougher assignments. This will make you better.

Is there something else you would like to share, such as a personal accomplishment?

This job is so sedentary that I believe for health and quality of life reporters need to get moving. I love to both run and lift weights. I’ve run three marathons, a few half marathons and 10Ks, and recently competed in the Figure division of an NPC bodybuilding show.

Project preserving vets’ stories

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Seguin Gazette posted an article on Nov. 5 about a Veterans History Project event hosted by the Texas Court Reporters Association that captured the stories of five local veterans. The article quotes NCRA member Kathleen Ullrich, RPR, CRC, a local captioner who participated in the event.

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Members give back: Firm owner builds trust with displaced children through charity project

Lori S. Warren, RPR, started a charity project called My Guardian Angel in 2015, the same year she founded her firm, Alabama Court Reporting, Inc. When she started her firm, she knew that she wanted to give back to the community. “While there are many organizations you can give to monetarily, I wanted a project that would bring people together,” Warren says. “I believe that in order to have change, you have to create it.”

The JCR Weekly contacted Warren to hear more about My Guardian Angel.

© U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose

What inspired you to get involved in this charity?

Before starting My Guardian Angel, I attended a class on forming 501c(3)s. I left that seminar with a new appreciation for the time that would be involved to make a 501c(3) successful. However, it was going to require way more time than I had to give since I had also just started a new firm.

I read somewhere online about an organization in California that donates duffel bags to foster children for them to use when they are transitioning from home to home. While the idea was truly a niche charity, it was meeting a need that many did not know existed. I was intrigued.

At the same time, the events of Ferguson, Mo., were going on. My heart was heavy for kids who grow up in an environment where police officers are feared instead of being looked at as a protector. When I was growing up, we were taught to run towards the police (safety), not away from them. I surmised that in order for that to change, kids needed a reason to perceive law enforcement differently.

After melding these ideas together, My Guardian Angel was formed. My Guardian Angel gives backpacks to law enforcement agencies to give to children in unfortunate situations, thereby creating a bridge, planting a positive seed. Those circumstances may range from being removed from their home in a domestic situation or a situation where the caregiver or parent is arrested for drugs. These children, many times, do not have suitcases of their own, and their personal belongings have to be put in a trash bag. These officers are sometimes called “first responders.” They are on the front lines. These officers wait with the child until someone from the Department of Human Resources shows up.

In other instances, an officer may need to gather a child’s belongings from a car accident scene, and they have nothing to put the child’s things in other than a trash bag. Our backpacks (along with a toothbrush and toothpaste) are given to law enforcement agencies to keep in the trunks of their cars for just such occasions.

While a simple backpack with an angel’s wings and the words “My Guardian Angel” certainly can’t remediate the child’s problems, it gives the officer an opportunity to create a positive memory. They have something tangible to give the child, and it gives the agent an opportunity to share with the child that they are there to help. The child may never know who Alabama Court Reporting, Inc., is nor the officer that they encountered who gave them the backpack, but our prayer is that it will help that child, if only for that one moment in time, see that officer as their guardian angel. If we achieve that, then we have been successful.

Have you received any comments back about your project?

Yes! We have had people call and want to help us buy backpacks! In giving to different agencies across the state of Alabama, we have had people call from those communities wanting to help. Giving inspires someone else to give, and it is the coolest thing to see. In other instances, we have delivered backpacks to agencies only to have them ask: “How much is this going to cost us?” And other times we have had them ask: “Why are you doing this?” This gives us an awesome opportunity to explain our desire to change the perception of their community of law enforcement.

What would you tell other people about giving back?

Figure out what inspires you and give to that. Start small. Just because you can’t matter to many doesn’t mean you can’t matter to one. Let your life start being one big random act of kindness. Giving back doesn’t always mean giving monetarily. Do what you can, where you are, and build on that. We can change the world we live in; it just has to start with us!

NCRA member participates in Illinois VHP event

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyNCRA member Jill Layton, RMR, an official court reporter from Toledo, Ill., participated in a recent Illinois Veterans History Project, according to an article posted by Riverbender.com on Nov. 2.

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