Category Archives: Court Reporter News
Posted on October 23, 2017 by admin
ARE YOU READY TO E-FILE?
Earlier this year, COCRA President Anne Hall communicated to the membership that COCRA would work openly and transparently with all unions, associations and stakeholders to ensure that official reporters’ comments and concerns were heard regarding procedures for e-filing. The goal was to ensure that any e-filing procedures enacted would be fair and equitable for official reporters, the legal community, and the public at large.
For the last several months, COCRA’s leadership, along with SEIU, AFSCME and IFPTE, three powerful unions representing official reporters across the state, have worked tirelessly to make certain that the e-filing requirements are in fact fair and equitable, and we believe we have succeeded.
On October 6, 2017, AB1450 was signed by the Governor. This bill, which language amends CCP 271, will require an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore to deliver a transcript in electronic form, in compliance with the California Rules of Court, to any court, party, or person entitled to the transcript.
It is anticipated that amendments to the Rules of Court pertaining to preparation of transcripts on appeal will be adopted by the Judicial Council at their November meeting and will have an effective date of January 1, 2018.
The substantive amendments include, but are not limited to the following:
- Electronic transcripts must be in full-text searchable PDF
- Electronic transcripts must include electronic bookmarking
- Electronic transcripts must also be electronically signed
- Reporters will have a five-year grace period to move to e-filing
- Reporters may, with exceptions, continue to file paper transcripts during the five-year period
In addition, this bill provides that an official reporter or official reporter
pro tempore is NOT required to use a specific vendor, technology, or software to be in compliance with CCP 271.
What Does This Mean for Official Reporters?
You Have Options
You do NOT have to purchase any additional third-party software.
Your current CAT software should be utilized, and has the technological capability to be, in compliance with nearly all the amendments to the Rules of Court.
The major CAT software vendors, including Stenograph and Advantage Software, are aware of the proposed changes to the Rules of Court, and you can be assured they are working towards total compliance within the five-year statutory grace period allowed under CCP 271.
Early next year, COCRA plans to offer a one-day seminar focusing on CAT software training where you will walk away with all the tools necessary to electronically file your transcripts with ease and in compliance with the Rules of Court.
Please feel free to reach out to COCRA at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News |
Posted on December 11, 2016 by admin
Congratulations to Our Three Early Membership Renewal Winners!
Reyes Hunter of Benecia
Holly Moose of San Rafael
Lindsey Sill of San Jose
COCRA Extends a Special Thank You to Our Silver Sponsors!!
Ana Dub of South San Francisco
Kelli Rinaudo of Pacific Grove
Remember that’s it’s not too late to renew your membership by clicking here!
Your COCRA Dues Help Us to Promote, Protect, and Preserve Our Profession!
Your membership dues are an investment in COCRA and is a clear sign that you believe in our mission, leadership, and presence in the California official court reporting community. By renewing with us, you show your commitment to the future of official court reporting and demonstrate your concern for our profession.
Your membership dues helps COCRA to do the following:
- Networking with counties and unions throughout the state to keep abreast of local issues affecting officials
- Creation of seminars with topics that educate officials and address the concerns and needs of officials
- Outreach to COCRA Members through the use of email and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter
- Maintenance of COCRA’s website with information pertinent to officials
Timely news and commentary postings to our COCRA Facebook page, Twitter feed, and blog
- Monitor legislation that might have an impact on officials and the reporting profession
- Educate legislators, executive and judicial decision-makers
As you can see, COCRA does important work on behalf of official court reporters. We know we can’t achieve anything without your financial support. We here at COCRA recognize the difficult times that we live in and that every dollar counts. So we truly appreciate your support and belief in us.
We appreciate your support of the California Official Court Reporters Association.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News |
Posted on December 7, 2016 by admin
Benefits of E-Filing Technology Should Not Come
at a Cost to Official Reporters
My name is Anne Hall, I’m an official reporter in Monterey County Superior Court, and I’m the current president of the California Official Court Reporters Association. (COCRA)
When I moved back to California in the late 90s, I realized that the issues that official court reporters faced were very unique to our profession. I also realized that our profession needed an association made up of members who were not only concerned about official court reporters, but were able to address those unique issues, as well as protect and promote court reporting in California’s superior courts. That is why I became a proud member of COCRA.
It is undeniable that since the Great Recession official reporters have had some very difficult times. We’ve seen the spread of electronic recording into more and more courtrooms. We’ve faced removal of official reporters in civil courts resulting in layoffs in many counties. We have seen transcript rates remain frozen for almost three decades!
As if all these negative situations weren’t enough, official reporters are now facing another possible threat to our transcript income. Many counties across the state have begun the process of converting their management systems to the online case management system Odyssey. What this means for official reporters is that we will eventually be required to file transcripts online which will be a welcomed change that could have unintended consequences.
So what’s the consequence? Courts could require that officials pay for filing our transcripts. COCRA believes officials should be able to electronically file transcripts with the court bearing any associated costs, such as software licenses.
We also believe that any electronic filing procedure the courts put into place should not result in the imposition of additional work duties without proper compensation to officials. Especially in light of the fact that official reporters have not seen an increase in our transcript rates!
In the future, COCRA will work openly and transparently with all unions, associations, and stakeholders to ensure that the concerns of official reporters about e-filing transcripts are addressed and that the final e-filing procedure is one that is fair and equitable for official reporters, the legal community, and the public at large.
If you believe the same as COCRA does, then won’t you please join me by renewing your membership with COCRA today? Join California’s only court reporter association created For Officials, By Officials.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News, Legislation, Page Rate |
Posted on September 25, 2016 by admin
PART-TIME COURT REPORTER
(Unbenefited. Work hours may vary not to exceed 1,000 hours (maximum) in any given fiscal year and are not guaranteed.)
Under general supervision, provides the verbatim official record of all court testimony and activity and, when necessary, grand jury proceedings; prepares transcripts of court proceedings as directed.
This is a highly skilled, certified, and experienced class responsible for creating verbatim documentation of court proceedings in criminal, civil, and other settings as assigned.
Please click here for more info and application process.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News, Employment Opportunities, Uncategorized |
Posted on September 25, 2016 by admin
California court reporters suffered another defeat in the years-long battle to get an increase in transcript rates.
COCRA will update members and supporters as to any future action to revive another transcript increase bill or an attempt to address the increase via the budget process as stated by the Governor.
Governor Brown released a brief statement yesterday stating his reasons for his refusal to sign AB 2629. Below is the text of his statement in full.
“To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2629 without my signature.
This bill would increase the fee that court reporters can charge for a court proceeding transcript.
This bill results in additional pressure to the General Fund by increasing costs to the judicial system. It covers spending that is more appropriately considered during the budget process.”
Edmund G. Brown.
Posted in AOC, Campaign for Officials, Court Budgets, Court Reporter News, Judicial Council, Legislation, Page Rate, Uncategorized |
Posted on August 23, 2016 by admin
The Commission on the Future of California’s Court System (Futures Commission) will be holding a meeting on August 29th in which a public comments session will be held to, “further its mission of identifying ways to improve the court system and increase access to justice for all Californians.”
Of the concepts presented by the Futures Commission, two concepts stand out that should concern all official court reporters.
- Concept 8. Explore Court Reporters’ Dual Status, Compensation Discrepancies, and Ownership of Transcripts
- Concept 10. Explore Court Reporters’ Dual Status, Compensation Discrepancies, and Ownership of Transcripts
COCRA will be lodging letters of opposition to both of these proposals as COCRA believes these “concepts” are yet another attempt by the Judicial Council to implement “concepts” that will negatively affect official court reporters and the public at large.
COCRA is not alone in this belief. Today, the Alliance of California Judges sent an email to the Judicial Council stating their reasons for opposing these two concepts. We are including some of the comments that the ACJ submitted in their email.
The ACJ on Concept 8:
“Concept 8 is a proposal to deprive court reporters of the money they make from preparing transcripts. We consider this proposal an attempt to nickel-and-dime our co-workers, hundreds of whom have already been laid off over the past few years.”
The ACJ on Concept 10:
“Concept 10 is an effort to promote the replacement of court reporters with digital recordings…..The inadequacy of electronic recording isn’t just a matter of speculation; it’s a matter of record.”
COCRA agrees completely with the ACJ’s assessments of these two concepts.
COCRA will be working diligently with Shane Gusman, COCRA’s Legislative Advocate, as well as all unions, associations, and supporters of official court reporters to defeat these concepts which diminish our profession and further erode true access to justice for all Californians.
We will be updating you in the future with the results of our efforts and we encourage you to follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Posted in AOC, Campaign for Officials, Court Budgets, Court Reporter News, Electronic Recording, Judicial Council |
Posted on June 30, 2016 by admin
The U.S. District Court – Eastern District of California is recruiting for an Official Court Reporter who is Realtime certified. The incumbent will report to a Court Services Supervisor in our Clerk’s Office and will as part of a pool of reporters provide court reporting services to our Sacramento judges on an assigned basis.
Level 3: $89,320 (Requires Realtime Certification)
Level 4: $93,380 (Requires Realtime Certification and Registered Merit
Reporter (RMR) Certification)
Applications must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016.
Click here for more info and application process.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News, Employment Opportunities |
Posted on June 23, 2016 by admin
San Bernardino County is seeking qualified individuals to work as Pro Tem Certified Court Reporters on an independent contractor basis. The services of Pro Tem Certified Court Reporters are needed at all court locations including: San Bernardino, Victorville, Barstow, Joshua Tree and Rancho Cucamonga.
Pro Tem Rates:
Full Day: $337.00
Half Day: $168.50
Please click here for more information and application instructions.
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Reporter News, Employment Opportunities |
Posted on March 29, 2016 by admin
COCRA Legislative Advocate Shane Gusman Shares the Good News on Wagner’s Failure to Get ER Bill Through Committee
Today the Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing on AB 1834 (Wagner) which would authorize trial courts to utilize electronic recording in family law matters. The three main proponents were the California Conference of State Bar Associations, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, and someone who referred to themselves as an electronic recording reporter (or something along those lines).
The author and his witnesses did not contend that ER is somehow better than having a live reporter. In fact, Assembly Member Wagner called having a reporter in the courtroom “the gold standard” for keeping an official record.
Instead, they argued that limited court resources have led to a diminishing number of official reporters available for family law proceedings despite the importance of having a record of those proceedings. They also argued that the technology has improved and that we shouldn’t let saving a few union jobs get in the way of the interests of family law litigants.
We had our usual coalition of union and reporter representatives opposing the bill on a variety of grounds including reliability, accuracy, cost, ADA access, etc. We also took the opportunity to agree that court reporters are the gold standard.
Picking up on that theme, the chair of the committee, Assembly Member Stone, asked the author if he would agree to amend his bill to instead mandate that an official court reporter be available for all family law matters in all 58 counties. The chair hinted that if Mr. Wagner chose to take his bill to a vote without that amendment, that it would fail to get sufficient votes to stay alive.
After much back and forth, the author chose not to take the chair’s suggested amendment and also chose to hold the bill in committee without a vote. This is a big victory for reporters as the momentum to do something in family law has been building for some time.
Chairman Stone was instrumental in defeating this bill and vowed to continue the fight to get reporters back into family courts. He promised to work with the Budget Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly in an effort to achieve this goal.
COCRA Legislative Advocate
Broad & Gusman
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Budgets, Court Reporter News, Electronic Recording, Legislation |
Posted on February 4, 2016 by admin
The following letter voicing COCRA’s opposition to ER in Family Law has been filed with the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System.
This letter affirms COCRA’s belief that ER has no place in Family Law proceedings and that its implementation in those courts may have severe negative economic effects on litigants in Family Law matters.
February 2, 2016
Honorable Carol A. Corrigan
Commission on the Future of California’s Court System
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Justice Corrigan:
The members of California Official Court Reporters’ Association, (COCRA), are in opposition to Concept 5’s proposal to allow for expanded use of electronic recording in our court system. We strongly urge the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System to remove that particular recommendation from their report.
We have attached COCRA’s most recent Preserving Access to Justice Task Force Report. As you can see from the report there are numerous cases cited of digital recording malfunctions across the nation.
In addition to malfunctions and incomplete transcripts, electronic recording is not a cost savings. The technology is expensive to purchase, to maintain and to operate. The transcripts that are produced often have “inaudible” portions throughout. The cost of the transcripts created from electronic recordings are more expensive that the ones produced by the official reporters. The transcriptionist needs to listen to the tape numerous times to decipher what is being said, thus taking more time to create a transcript and driving up the cost.
With an official reporter, if the reporter doesn’t hear what is said, the reporter can ask the speaker to repeat.
Having electronic recording in Family Law denies equal access to the litigants. Appealing a decision with an electronic recording that has been transcribed makes for an incomplete record. Every time an “inaudible” appears in the transcript some of the meaning of the testimony is lost.
Please review the attached PAJTF report. We believe you will agree that having a court reporter in court is the most efficient and cost-effective way to maintain the record.
Anne M. Hall
President, California Official Court Reporters’ Association
Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor
Honorable Kevin DeLeon, President Pro Tem of the Senate
Honorable Toni Atkins, Speaker
Honorable Anthony Rendon, Speaker-elect
Honorable Hannah Beth Jackson, Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
Honorable Mark Stone, Chair, Assembly Judiciary Committee
Honorable Mark Leno, Chair, Senate Budget
Honorable Shirley Weber, Chair, Assembly Budget
Honorable Loni Hancock, Senate Budget Sub #5
Honorable Reggie Jones Sawyer, Assembly Budget Sub #5
Posted in Campaign for Officials, Court Budgets, Court Reporter News, Electronic Recording, Judicial Council, Legislation |