On Saturday, November 9th, Court Reporters United Washington (CRUW) hosted a seminar in Kirkland, Washington. This event’s first presentation was focused on Court Reporting – Where we are Today and What’s in Store for Tomorrow.
Zoya Spencer, a Washington freelance reporter and secretary of CRUW, facilitated a lively discussion about the state of court reporting in Washington. Information was provided by Julia Obien of YOM: Full Service Court Reporting, A Veritext Company, about the NCRA’s “A to Z™” Program and Project Steno’s “Basic Training” Program, and how the two programs are working to attract, train and mentor new stenographic reporters. CRUW attendees were encouraged to spread the word about these exciting educational opportunities to increase interest in court reporting.
Attendees were fortunate to have a voice writer, Leon Forbes, explain his method of making a verbatim record. Many questions were asked and the audience listened intently; and some stated this would be a way to continue their careers as their bodies age and, quite frankly, break down. Another attendee representing Snohomish County Superior Court talked about the challenge of covering court with freelance reporters. To fill this gap in the courtroom, remote reporting was discussed as an option, as well as reigniting the interest of CART providers, who may be interested in doing remote reporting for the court or freelancers, as well as performing their CART duties.
As the spirited conversation focused on answers to the looming court reporter shortage, we centered on our duty to serve the legal industry – not just “save steno.” Above all, the group agreed that it is important to provide the appropriate method of capture for each individual proceeding so that a verbatim record can be provided whenever and wherever needed in order to do our part in ensuring that our legal system does not break down.