About Washington Court Reporters Association
The mission of the Washington Court Reporters Association (WCRA) is to promote the profession of court reporting. It is the objective of this professional association to maintain a membership base composed of court reporters, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), and captioners whose values are consistent with the ethical standards promulgated by the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics. WCRA represents its members in the state legislature on issues impacting court reporting, CART, and captioning.
All members are encouraged to obtain the highest professional certificates available in the state of Washington and nationally. Additionally, WCRA, through its committees, task forces, and Executive Board offers its members conferences and seminars to keep current with state-of-the-art technology affecting the profession of court reporting.
As I am writing this letter to you, our profession is facing an incredibly challenging time. I’m sure you have seen the promotion of “digital reporting” across the country. As we all know, this is simply a person operating a recording device who is not a certified court reporter. The audio files are then sent to a transcriptionist (again, not necessarily a certified court reporter) that could be located anywhere in the world. Firms are challenging state laws by finding supposed loopholes and offering CLE’s to attorneys on how to change the wording on their notices to allow for digital recording rather than a stenographic reporter. Luckily, in Washington, WCRA has worked hard to put consumer protections in place to ensure the integrity of the record. Our laws require certification to practice as a court reporter. Court reporting is specifically defined in our statute, and “digital” court reporting is not a recognized method.
We will need our membership to band together to help educate our members and their clients on what to look for in their notices of deposition they receive. The best way to assure that our RCW’s and Washington rules are followed is to educate the consumer. For this purpose, we will be distributing a flyer for you to print up and hand out to your clients. Some reporters in other states have been inserting them into every deposition transcript they send out or are handing them to clients at jobs.
NCRA is also working on this issue. One of our legislative co-chairs, Phyllis Lykken, will be chairing the new NCRA task force, NCRA Strong, to take on this issue. Legislative co-chair Liz Harvey will also be serving on this committee, along with other leaders from around the country. They will be meeting regularly and developing tools to help NCRA, state associations, and all members to educate the consumer and be prepared to meet this challenge and show that stenography remains the gold standard to protect the record. Stay tuned!
On a local level, we are also working on putting together a presentation about the risks of digital recording that you can use if you would like to volunteer to speak to your local bar association or another group. Please contact WCRA and we can provide you with the information you need to do so. Education is our best tool right now. Please know we will be asking for your support in the future to keep Washington a CCR only state. If you are on Facebook, you can look to what CalDRA has been doing to battle this same issue in California through member volunteerism and legislation.
Our Legislative Co-Chairs Liz Harvey and Phyllis Craver-Lykken have been invaluable to our membership in keeping us abreast of current issues and working with the Board to keep Washington Reporters up to date on actions that need to be taken.
I would like to announce that Jennifer Pollino, Official at Skagit County and our Student Liaison, will be taking over as our Career Outreach Chair and Scholarship Chair. She is taking over for Connie Church who has been very giving of her time over the past few years. Thank you, Connie, for your tireless support in attending outreach events promoting the field of Court Reporting to our youth.
WCRA recently sent out an e-mail to our members regarding the OPD indigent page rate increase. I urge you to read the message and to follow the steps to make a comment in support of this increase. We are very close to getting this passed and the more comments in favor the stronger the chance it will become a reality. We are hopeful that our two-year long effort to get the indigent rate raised will be a success, which is a benefit to all reporters in Washington state.
As a reminder, our Spring Seminar at Green River College will be April 13th. The theme this year is Light the Fire of Inspiration! We have some great speakers and look forward to seeing you there. Many of
you know Lori Rapozo teaches the Court Reporting program at Green River College. She has been a long-time supporter of court reporting and WCRA and has worked tirelessly over the years with our students. Lori will be retiring from Green River in June of 2019, so please come and thank and congratulate her at Spring Seminar.
Wendy S. Raymond