National Court  Reporters Association Updates 

NCRA Key Issues 

Certification

The goal of all certification programs is to raise the level of competence and professionalism of the practitioners in the industry. For the individual practitioner, certification provides a specific road map of the knowledge and skills needed in order to meet minimum standards of qualification, as well as an independent validation of competence that reporters can use to distinguish themselves in the market. There is clearly a public stake in the competent performance of reporters and, in some cases; life and liberty rely on the record.

Contracting

Litigants, other participants in the judicial system, and the general public expect that depositions and court proceedings be recorded by a competent, independent and neutral court reporter who has no stake, financial or otherwise, in the outcome of the action. Prohibiting parties of interest in litigation from having a direct contractual relationship with court reporters, as officers of the court, is necessary to ensure the public's faith in the integrity and impartiality of the judicial system.

Electronic/Digital Recording

Because of budget crunches, several courts are exploring the use of electronic recording systems to either supplement or replace stenographic reporters. Although electronic recording may be used in certain environments, such as courts that do not have frequent transcript requests, realtime court reporters, often described as "Guardians of the Record," remain the most reliable and accurate method of making the record.

Fair Labor Standards Act

Broadly speaking, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal statute that originally passed in 1938 that addressed many of the issues with a fast passed and growing working class and the rights of those workers. It provided for a minimum wage, it provided basic child labor laws, and it provided ‘time and a half’ for employees in certain occupations who had to work overtime.

Student Shortage


To combat the issue of student shortages and to respond to the increasing demand for reporters who are realtime trained, NCRA has taken a multifaceted hands-on approach to advancing education for court reporters. NCRA's efforts have led to a dramatic improvement, with student enrollment increasing almost 38 percent at NCRA-approved programs after an almost decade-long decline in enrollment.

For additional Information, visit ncraonline.org under the Government Relations tab.

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NCRA’s TRAIN readying reporters to write realtime

August 29, 2012
Based on feedback from NCRA’s membership-wide survey Writing our Future, the NCRA Board of Directors created TRAIN. TRAIN, or Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide, promotes getting court reporters over the fears that are associated with writing realtime.

NCRA’s TRAIN officially embarked six months ago at TechCon with an intensive program aimed at clarifying complicated software, hardware, and provide some helpful tips along the way. Since this time, the program has blossomed as intended. Small group sessions of reporters looking to improve their realtime writing and help other reporters begin writing realtime have been popping up around the country. TRAIN has already held presentations in numerous state associations, Maricopa County, Arizona, TechCon, and NCRA’s Annual Convention in Philadelphia. NCRA strongly encourages our members to get involved with TRAIN by contacting your state representative (click to view state representatives) for information on how you can hop on board.

The leaders of NCRA’s TRAIN include NCRA Vice President Sarah Nageotte (Ohio), NCRA Directors Toni O’Neill (Calif.) and Viola Zborowski (N.J.), as well as Sue Terry (Ohio), Ron Cook (Wash.), Mary Burzynski (Wis.), Lisa Knight (Colo.), Regina Berenato-Tell (N.J.), and Linda Kaiser (Texas).

To learn more about the TRAIN program and to view the TRAIN presentation from TechCon, please visit the TRAIN homepage. If you are interested in improving your realtime or in helping other reporters write realtime, please contact NCRA Senior Government Relations Specialist Adam Finkel. afinkel@ncrahq.org
On the Hill 2013

NCRA's Government Relations Department is constantly looking for legislation that impacts our members. Below is a list of current legislative issues that NCRA is monitoring:

Key Current Legislation

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:  
Link
H.R. 3178: "Employee Misclassification Prevention Act":  Link
S. 2076: Local Courthouse Safety Act of 2012
Link

NCRA is pleased to annouce the availability of the Training for Realtime Writers grants for court reporting schools: Link

Afforable Care Act

How the Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Law) affects you.

Read an in-depth description of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, and how it will affect you:  Link

Elected Officials

Interested in who is representing you? Look up your federal, state, and local elected officials:  Link

Find out who is on the House Judiciary Committee.Link

Find out who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee:  Link


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