Steno Opportunities in the Courts Task Force Releases White Paper
May 31, 2012 (VIENNA, Va.) A much-anticipated white paper produced by NCRA’s Stenographic Opportunities in the Courts Task Force was published today on the NCRA website, becoming an authoritative resource for court reporters and court systems wishing to maximize the quality and efficiencies for making the record in a judicial setting.
“This white paper is the by-product of nearly two years of work by a task force that was committed to identifying the best possible role for official court reporters in the court systems of the future,” said Lesia Mervin, RMR, CRR, FAPR, of Visalia, Calif., who served as chair of the task force. “Along the way, as we did an inventory of the duties that court reporters hold and the benefits they bring to the judicial process, it became clear that we needed something more than that — we needed to define in concrete terms the benefits of the stenographic court reporter and the distinct advantages and opportunities we bring to court systems.”
Entitled “Making the Record: Solutions for Today and for the Future,” the white paper is based on primary research with judges, court administrators, and court reporters that was commissioned by the task force and fielded by the National Judicial College (NJC). The white paper is composed of five sections, which are supplemented by an executive summary, an introduction, and a conclusion. These five sections are:
The white paper will be distributed to the judicial community at large while serving as a resource for court reporters to address the two largest challenges that will have the largest impact on court systems of the future according to judges in the NJC survey — dealing with ongoing budget constraints and integration of technology in the courtroom.
Court reporters and managers of court reporters are in a unique position to identify opportunities to save time and money through technology within a courtroom setting, according to Nativa Wood, RDR, CMRS, FAPR, of Harrisburg, Penn., and a member of the task force. “Technology is going to continue to alter the landscape of our court systems in ways we cannot today even comprehend,” she said. “As experts in making the record, in courtroom procedures, and in technology, court reporters stand at the intersection where effective use of technology can increase efficiency and reduce costs while ensuring the integrity of the official record is held to the highest possible standard.”
Beyond Mervin and Wood, other members of the task force were:
- Kristin Anderson, RPR, of Kansas City, Kans.,
- Sheryl Culver, RPR, CMRS, CRI, of Van Meter, Iowa,
- Cheryl Dahlstrom, RMR, CRR, of Boston, Mass.,
- Paulita Kundid, RDR, CMRS, FAPR, of Daytona Beach, Fla., and
- Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR (ex-officio), of Wheaton, Ill.