President's Message - May 2019

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Part of CCRA’s mission is to provide educational development to advance the profession of court reporting and captioning in California and across the nation.  At a time when information, true or not, is so readily available to the general public, it is our duty as an association of members of this industry to educate ourselves, educate our colleagues, and educate the general population about what we do and how awesome we are at doing it.

Two of California’s biggest music festivals just occurred recently, Coachella and Stagecoach.  Did you know there were stenographers backstage providing live captioning for festival participants?  These are the types of stories we need to get out into the world.  It is up to us to change the narrative.  If you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, follow our page and share our posts!  You never know what friend or family member might see it and want to join our family of stenographers.

Keep an eye out in the coming months for several career-building seminars and workshops that CCRA will be offering, and be sure to mark your calendars for our annual convention in San Mateo October 11-14, 2019.  We are invested in you as our members.  We want to see each court reporter and captioner reach their full potential!  

Lastly, please be sure to keep your membership current with CCRA and encourage your friends and colleagues to join as well.  It is imperative in this tumultuous climate that we stick together and remain vigilant and steadfast.  Your membership not only makes us a stronger and larger group, but your membership dues enable CCRA to continue operating and fighting for you behind the scenes.  You are invaluable to us.  Thank you for your continued support of our amazing profession.

Let’s change our world together.

Rachel N. Barkume, CSR, RPR
President

PRESERVE YOUR PROFESSION: A TO Z NEEDS U NOW!

The California Court Reporters Association, in conjunction with the Northern California Court Reporters Association and the Sacramento Official Court Reporters Association, are excited to announce the California launch of NCRA’s nationwide “A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand” program. The goal of this intensive recruitment effort is to introduce members of our local communities to the court reporting and captioning professions through a hands-on course in which candidates are provided loaner steno machines and attend live weekly classes over a six-week period taught by experienced reporters. Join the momentum. Be the solution. Whether it is your volunteer time or a donation, it is YOU that will preserve stenographic reporting!




California Budget Watch: What about Court Reporters?

Only four days into his tenure as Governor of California, Gavin Newsom introduced his first proposed state budget. The $144 billion plan is the first step in a months-long process to adopt a state budget before the July 1st deadline.

The Judicial Branch proposal includes more than $350 million in additional funding. After the Jameson decision and 30 years without an increase in the statutory transcript fee, how much of it is going to hire new State-employed court reporters or to fund a rate increase? Zero. More than $9 million is proposed for raises of Judicial Council and other state-level staff; millions more for judges’ salaries.

Remember, this proposal is just the starting point. CCRA is already working to make 2019 the year we secure a long overdue rate increase, especially now that freelancers covering court work are also statutorily bound by those rates, and funding to increase the number of court reporters provided in courtrooms statewide. Stay tuned for more California Budget Watch emails.


Dynamex Explained

The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dynamex created a new legal test for determining whether someone is an “independent contractor” and not an employee. In order to be properly classified as an independent contractor, the hiring entity must prove each of the three factors in the “ABC Test”: (A) The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and (B) The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed. In the context of court reporters, the analysis will depend upon the particular facts and circumstances of each individual relationship. While it is ultimately unclear how Dynamex will be applied to court reporters, this article provides a detailed legal overview to assist our members with understanding the key issues. READ MORE

Official Court Reporters:
Join CCRA and Save $35 per Month on YesLaw Software!

YesLaw e-filing software is currently being used in many counties throughout our state and is considered to be the gold standard for an electronic transcript by the appellate courts who have been receiving transcripts electronically. By joining CCRA and utilizing YesLaw at the cost of only $25 a month, you will always be compliant with ALL of the requirements of California Rule of Court 8.144, Form of the Record, and will never have to worry when you upload a transcript whether you are in compliance with the Code. YesLaw software is fully compatible with all CAT software, so there is no need to purchase new. So why deliver to your clients the minimum standard when you have the ability to deliver the GOLD!!