Official Reporters and E-Filing Transcripts: COCRA’s Position
Benefits of E-Filing Technology Should Not Come
at a Cost to Official Reporters
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.
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