California Official Court Reporters Association

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Renew Your 2017 COCRA Membership Today

Posted on January 17, 2017 by admin

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, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Part-Time Court Reporters Needed for Calaveras Superior Court

Posted on September 25, 2016 by admin


PART-TIME COURT REPORTER

$27.42-$33.33/Hour Non-Exempt

(Unbenefited. Work hours may vary not to exceed 1,000 hours (maximum) in any given fiscal year and are not guaranteed.)

POSITION DEFINITION:

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.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:

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 | Comments Off

Governor Vetoes Transcript Increase Bill

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.”

Sincerely,
Edmund G. Brown.

Posted in AOC, Campaign for Officials, Court Budgets, Court Reporter News, Judicial Council, Legislation, Page Rate, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Updates to Steno Writers Repair Service Page

Posted on May 27, 2014 by admin

We’ve recently updated our Steno Writers Repair Service Page.  If you’re looking for a repair service or maintenance service, feel free to contact any one of the following vendors.  We’re sure they’ll be happy to assist you.

And if you want to recommend a service, please let us know via the form at the bottom of that page.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

CRB Issues Clarification on Expedited Transcripts

Posted on October 2, 2012 by admin

From the Court Reporters Board.

Clarification Regarding Expedited Court Transcripts

In response to a request for clarification of the Board’s position regarding the ability of court reporters to charge expedited rates for court transcripts, the Board has reached the position that there is a difference between daily and expedited delivery of a court transcript.

While Government Code section 69951 specifically speaks to “special daily transcription rates” in civil matters, the law is silent as to expedited transcription rates. Therefore, since expedited transcription rates are not defined in statute, court reporters may set their own reasonable rates. Note, however, that the court is the final arbiter of what constitutes a reasonable rate under the circumstances.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Article Details Report Calling for Reform of the AOC

Posted on May 29, 2012 by admin

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – In a sweeping call for reform of the Administrative Office of the Courts, a report from a committee of judges found the agency has been operated as the director’s fiefdom, has strayed far from its original path and has been deceptive about finances and personnel. They also criticized the bureaucracy as top-heavy, badly organized and employing too many overpaid workers.

Their long-awaited report proposes a drastic reorganization that includes cutting the staff by one-third and moving the agency from its lavish San Francisco headquarters to a cheaper space in Sacramento. In the 277-page, 11-chapter dcoument, the Strategic Evaluation Committee also recommended cutting high-level positions, closing regional offices and eliminating entire divisions of the vast bureaucracy that sits atop the court system.

Based on a year-long investigation, the massive, crisply-worded report did not pull punches.

Click here to continue reading this article.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

CRB Issues Letter on Fees for Official Pro Tems

Posted on May 29, 2012 by admin

The following notice was sent out by the CRB and they’ve posted it on their website. You can read the letter in its entirety by clicking on the link.

“The fees set by statute that a licensee may charge for acting as official or official pro tempore reporters have not changed since the issuance of the Board’s interpretation in its letter dated December 7, 1999. However, given the recent budgetary impact on courts and the increasing inquiries from licensees regarding current permissible fees for court reporters acting as official or official pro tempore reporters, the Board is issuing this letter to assist licensees and consumers.”

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

AB 1208 Passes First Hurdle in the Assembly

Posted on February 1, 2012 by admin

In a stunning defeat for California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Judicial Council, and the AOC, the State Assembly voted 41 to 23 to pass AB 1208, a bill that would restore local trial court control over individual court budgets.

The chief justice and her supporters had been lobbying and rallying against the bill claiming that passage of the bill would be a detriment to smaller court systems and that the legislature was interfering in the management decisions of another branch of government.

Supporters of the bill, which include the Alliance of California Judges, unions, and state court employees, claimed that AB 1208 was necessary in order to assert more local control over the financial decisions of the Judicial Council. Bill supporters also decried financial decisions of the JC that have led, for example, to funding millions of dollars for the much derided CCMS court software program while trial courts have laid off hundreds of workers.

Although the AB 1208 supporters may be cheering the vote by the Assembly, they know full well that the battle is not over. The bill will now make its way to the Senate for a process that will be most certainly heated and vocal from both sides. In a prepared statement, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye signaled she was ready for the next phase of the battle. “People who know the facts know that this is no victory for Californians, for our state courts or for equal access to justice.”

Your COCRA team has been monitoring AB 1208 with the help of its Legislative Advisor Shane Gusman. We will keep COCRA members apprised of any new developments as the bill enters the Senate.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

COCRA Begins Advertising Registry of Officials on BASF Website

Posted on November 4, 2011 by admin

In our continued efforts to promote those officials who have been laid off, COCRA has entered into a three-month advertising contract with the Bar Association of San Francisco. COCRA now has a sponsored hyperlink on their Northern California Register of Experts and Consultants.

The screenshot below is of COCRA’s sponsored link. You may view the live link by clicking here which will take you to the BASF website.

Keep in mind that COCRA’s link will pop up on the majority of the pages on BASF’s register. It is COCRA’s hope that this will draw the attention of attorneys who have matters in civil courts towards the officials listed on COCRA’s Registry of Officials.

You may view the Registry by clicking here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Civil Court Reporter Fee System is Broken

Posted on October 28, 2011 by admin

Stanislaus County pulled all its Official Reporters out of civil courts, years ago, only to recognize that mistake and return to the staffing of civil courts with official reporters. Yet again, it’s their plan to pull reporters from civil courts as an answer to budget shortfalls. Santa Cruz made that same change last year. In Napa, Marin and Alameda civil courts, official court reporters are disappearing at alarming rates. Ventura and LA are being warned of coming layoffs. Other courts have intimated this might also be a solution to their budget woes. Last Monday, San Francisco Superior Court jettisoned all its official court reporters that cover the civil courts.

What’s going on? The answer is not simple.

The California Legislature provides public funding for official court reporters in court matters most intrinsic to an orderly and safe society: criminal, civil conservancy, family and juvenile. Back in 1992, the California Legislature, recognizing the efficiencies derived from using in-house court reporters, enacted a user fee system to encourage the courts also to provide official court reporters in all other matters [not covered by GC69952], including civil. The user fee system was designed to offset the costs of the service provided to the litigants who pay the fee and to guarantee accessibility and availability of a verbatim record.

However, over the past 20 years, the user fee system has become a political football in the battle of the state budget. Over the years, it’s been diluted to a point where there is little evidence that it does anything to directly offset the costs to each trial court for the reporting service provided. It’s actually becoming an excuse for local courts to put the onus on the litigants with money and a lawyer to privately retain and drag a CSR into court. More problems flow from there, not the least of which is the increasingly imbalanced access to justice between litigants of means and litigants without means. This growing mess is not what the Legislature intended, and it’s certainly not consistent with the mission of the courts.

COCRA is inviting other stakeholders to participate in our efforts to fix this broken fee structure and to stop the privatization of the official reporters’ jobs. Follow our progress and check back with us here on our website for updates and information on how you can help.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Recent Posts

Archives