As a member or guest of TCRA, your input is a valuable part of the process. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you wish to send us written correspondence, the mailing address is P.O. Box 135, Brunswick, TN 38014. Telephone inquiries, please call 901.388.8151.
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When the waters are calm and the sea is still, it makes for smooth sailing. It is only when the cry from the captain is heard, “ALL HANDS ON DECK”, that from the belly of the ship emerge the sailors with their swift and decisive action. It is with vigor and zeal that the sailors man their places in preparation for the rough waters that lie ahead.
Being asked to serve our association is an honor and a responsibility that I take very seriously. However, as a mother of two very active sons, a wife and a full-time court reporter, I have to admit that I was glad to know that my year with TCRA would be smooth sailing. After all, we are not dealing with legislation, we are not dealing with certification, the waters are smooth and the sea is still - - at least I thought.
Shortly into this new leadership position I received a call that the Administrative Office of The Courts (AOC) is having a hard time filling the official positions with court reporters, and that the situation is so bad that they have gotten to the point of having to consider alternative means by which to capture the record. Now we can all claim that this would not be the case if those positions paid more. Unfortunately, and upon further scrutiny, this complaint of a shortage is being heard and felt across the country. We are hearing more and more about this shortage of court reporters through, not only our National Court Reporting Association, but through national news reports, articles, videos, lawyers, federal and state judges, all supported by statistical information being circulated that the court reporting shortage will soon be at critical levels across the country.
So we may ask, does this mean we will finally be able to adjust our rates? I mean, this does fall in the category of supply and demand, right!
Hold your horses. Emerging from the wings are digital, audio and other alternatives, just waiting to step up and come to the rescue. Is this a risk we are willing to take?
This Newsletter is filled with information that explains a strategy, a plan and course of action your TCRA board believes to be the battle plan. The call has been made “ALL HANDS ON DECK”. May we, the court reporters, emerge with swift and decisive action and pull together for the benefit of the whole.
While I may not have that year of smooth and calm waters, and we may be fighting hard to hold down the hatch, I want to close by once again thanking each of you for bestowing on me the honor and privilege to serve TCRA, a responsibility I do take seriously.
Dana Webb, President TCRA
P.S. (Please share this plan with a non-member and encourage them to join the battle by joining TCRA.)
TBCR vs. TCRA - What’s the Difference?
The Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TCRA) was founded in 1949. Our association is a volunteer organization made up of an Executive Board and, also, comprises two Directors from each of the three divisions of our state.
Per our current bylaws:
The members of this Association shall strive to establish and maintain a proper standard of proficiency in the profession of court reporting, to establish and maintain a proper standard of professional ethics, to promote friendly interaction and good feeling among the members of the Association, to promote enactment of just and equitable laws upon the subject of court reporting, to protect the public against the imposition of incompetent and unethical court reporters, and to promote by all proper and lawful means, and consistent with the public interest, the legitimate interests of professional court reporters in the State of Tennessee.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-9-604 established the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting (TBCR). According to the TBCR website: Beginning July 1, 2010, court reporters must be licensed to engage in court reporting in the state of Tennessee. This board will issue court reporter licenses, conduct disciplinary inquiries for ethical violations, ensure completion of continuing education requirements and maintain a registry of court reporters.
Your TCRA Board has always and will continue to bring our members the most current and up-to-date court reporting information and news available as we receive it. As our members are aware, our avenues of communication are varied: annual conventions, regional seminars, e-blasts, website, quarterly newsletters, Facebook page, and Twitter! Our state association can boast and be proud that we are one of the few state associations in the country that is so technologically advanced.
The TBCR was established to prescribe the qualifications of court reporters and to issue licenses to persons who demonstrate their ability and fitness for the licenses. If anyone has a question about licensure, continuing education guidelines, reporting guidelines, inactive status, or reporter complaints, your questions must be directed to the TBCR.