IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM KCRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The two letters attached at the bottom of this message are intended to keep the membership of the Kansas Court Reporters Association informed of proposed impending changes related to the CCR Board of Examiners as well as CCRs currently licensed in Kansas. As it stands today, the CCR Board of Examiners and CCRs are currently under the jurisdiction of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts of Kansas and the Supreme Court of Kansas.
December 11, 2019, members of the CCR Board of Examiners received an email with attached letter from Justice Stegall. It has been included as a PDF attached to this informational email. In the letter, Justice Stegall stated the Supreme Court plans to “reorganize the administration of court reporters and the State Board of Examiners of Court Reporters (board).” Administrative responsibilities for the court reporter “program” and the duties of the board will move under the Office of Judicial Administration. The December 11, 2019 letter is the only formal notification that has been received at this time.
On January 3, 2020, the four court reporters who currently serve on the CCR Board of Examiners sent a letter to Justice Stegall (copied to Chief Justice Luckert and others) asking the Kansas Supreme Court to reconsider its plan. The letter is attached as a PDF to this email. To date, no formal acknowledgment or response to the letter has been received.
The Kansas Court Reporters Association board is separate and distinct from the CCR Board of Examiners. KCRA is an organization, not a board created by the Kansas Supreme Court. As a nonprofit organization established on behalf of court reporters, KCRA will do everything within its power to look after the interests of certified court reporters in Kansas. As per our mission statement: The Kansas Court Reporters Association is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest standards of verbatim reporting, quality services, professional ethics, and advocating continuing education, as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art technology.
KCRA’s board will continue to focus on legislation, if any, introduced that relates to the judicial system, contacting local legislators about court reporting and its role in the judicial system, sharing concerns with our clients and supervisors, and monitoring any legislative changes through our government advisor, Steve Kearney & Associates.
How can you make a difference? As individual court reporters, we have access to judges, attorneys, court administrators, legislators, state bar associations, state agencies, news media outlets, social media, and other court reporters. These groups of people will also be affected by the proposed changes. First and foremost, voice your concerns. As you do so, please remember that anything you write, do, or say will be a direct reflection on the profession of court reporting itself and could ultimately have an adverse effect on court reporters in Kansas. Please choose your words carefully. A bell once rung cannot be undone. Concern is understandable, but common sense, logic, and facts will keep the focus where it must remain. We have a duty to ensure that certified, regulated court reporters capture the record live in courtrooms, depositions, and agency hearings. Basic standards begin with state certification.
Second, make it a point to visit with your local legislators and inform them of the integral role court reporters play in the judicial and state agency processes. Remind them of the services court reporters provide through broadcast captioning and CART to our deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in Kansas. As their constituents, what you say matters. Emails, letters, phone calls are all important ways to contact your legislators. As a reminder, this type of contact by official court reporters, if done electronically, needs to be completed outside of the work setting on personal computers.
Third, if you have any ideas, contact your KCRA board of directors. We will consider your suggestions and recommendations with the hope that together, we might have some impact on the outcome. As factual information becomes available, we will communicate that to our membership.
Lastly, “keep calm and carry on.” We acknowledge that tremendous changes have occurred in Kansas, the U.S., and the world over the last few months and those changes have helped create uncertainty. However, in our profession as court reporters and CART/captioning providers, we are faced with difficult challenges every day that require common sense, problem-solving techniques, and application of practical experience in order to resolve issues. Just as vital, we have an incredible network of intelligent, resourceful, highly-skilled professionals to collaborate with and draw from their collective experiences.
We cannot afford to waste our collective energy or resources at this time. The goal is simple: Maintain certification standards, testing, and licensing requirements in Kansas and ensure certified court reporters continue to be the standard of practice under state statutes and Kansas Supreme Court rules. As professional court reporters, we practice within a code of professional ethics and have a duty and an obligation to work within the system.
Thank you and if you wish to contact us with questions, we cannot promise information beyond what is indicated within this message, but we will listen.
KCRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere."
Consider donating to the legislative fund. We accept payments monthly, bi-annually or annually. We ask each individual reporter for a minimum of $75/year to help protect our profession and to have the funds available to fight for the legislative issues we need or want to fight for. Thank you for your donation!!!
Legislative Donation goal
COURT REPORTING SCHOOLS IN KANSAS
Kansas City, KS Community College Method: Stenography A-Z Program beginning Monday, July 8, 2019, 6:30 pm (a great way to see if you like court reporting) Full court-reporting program to begin September 9, 2019 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30-9:30, teaching Mark Kislingbury's theory - - Adult & Community Education Dept. at KCCC, 913-335-1100
KCRA does not endorse or recommend any school over another.
KCRA is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest standards of verbatim reporting, quality services, professional ethics, and advocating continuing education, as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art technology.
UPCOMING CCR EXAM DATES:
May 18, 2020
Click into here for more information.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JCR ARTICLE ON ONE OF OUR MEMBERS
DARCIE CRUZ, RMR,
Official court reporter
Currently resides in: Chanute, Kan.
Member since: 1989
Graduated from: American Institute of Commerce, Davenport, Iowa
JCR | Why did you decide to enter this profession?
CRUZ | Upon completing two years of college, I had changed my major twice. That’s when my brother married a court reporter, and my mother suggested that I look into the field based on its earning potential. I had loved business classes in high school, and I really enjoyed spelling, grammar, and vocabulary as well. These are a few of the things that have helped to make court reporting a very comfortable fit for me.
JCR | What was your biggest hurdle to overcome and how did you do so?
CRUZ | It became quite evident that 225 words per minute was strictly an entry-level speed for this profession. Fortunately, Mark Kislingbury was a speaker at one of our state conventions, and I was quickly convinced that I needed to shorten my writing. I eventually joined the Magnum Steno Club, which has proven to be a fun and easy way to incorporate new ideas and methods into my writing to help me become a much stronger reporter.
JCR | What surprised you about your career?
CRUZ | I didn’t realize how challenging court reporting would be. There is a definite need to continually hone your skills.
JCR | What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
CRUZ | It is a wonderful feeling to be able to accomplish something that you thought you couldn’t do. Successfully completing the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) examination definitely falls in this category, and being able to participate in speed contests at national conventions with some of the top writers in the country has definitely been an added bonus.
JCR | Is there something else you’d like to share?
CRUZ | Something else I am really excited about is being the first reporter to complete the 100-Day Challenge in a Facebook practice group started by Rich Germosen. The challenge group is an excellent source of motivation and encouragement to keep reporters and students practicing.
Avoid writing word endings in a separate stroke. Use briefs for as many common words and phrases as possible. Follow a pattern or concept when choosing briefs rather than using random outlines. Use the asterisk key.
KCRA is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization.
For further information, contact our Executive Director:
Coleen Boxberger, KCRA Executive Director