FREE-Secure-24/7 Access To Your Transcripts and Exhibits

Archive for September, 2018

Technical College Plans To Add Court Reporting Curriculum

Posted on: September 24th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments

There’s a nationwide shortage of court reporters, and while technology like the systems provided by CourtScribes help, skilled people are still needed to help with courtroom communications.

Horry Georgetown Technical College is one school that wants to start offering a court reporter program to help ease the shortage, which is especially severe in South Carolina, TV station WPDE ABC15 reported.

Horry Georgetown Technical College is a two-year technical college with three campuses, one in Georgetown, South Carolina, one in Conway, and one in Myrtle Beach. It is a part of the South Carolina Technical College System and is the fourth-largest technical college in the state, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs.

Miami court reporters

The Miami court reporters of CourtScribes incorporate technology into their work.

The president of the college, Dr. Marilyn Fore, said the first step to setting up a program at the school is to figure out what credentials are needed for the job and to determine whether the program should be a degree program or certificate program.

Next, the college will build a curriculum then find qualified instructors to teach the classes.

“I think there are private contractors that teach court reporting but they would like for a college to do this, so they’re also volunteering to teach. I’m going to seek those folks out and see how they can help us to structure the program,” she said.

Fore said she hopes to have a plan in place by January.

A recent National Court Reporters Association found there will be 5,500 job openings available in the court reporting field across the country in the next five years.

Part of the reason for the strong demand is that many court reporters are retiring, so jobs are opening up, but there aren’t enough studying court reporting so there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs.

Also, a lack of awareness about the profession means people don’t often think of it as a career choice, something that court reporting programs are working locally and nationally to change.

Military Spouse Fights For The Right To Practice Law

Posted on: September 19th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments

The use of courtroom technology like CourtScribes provides for courtrooms can make the practice of law easier. But practicing law can be difficult for military spouses who frequently have to move from place to place, meaning they are not necessarily licensed to practice law in the state in which they find themselves currently living.

But the Georgia Supreme Court recently overruled the state Board of Examiners’ denial of a military spouse’s request to practice law without having to pass the state bar exam, saying the board denied the request without giving a reason.

“Harriet O’Neal filed a waiver petition with the Board of Bar Examiners on November 30, 2017, asking that she be allowed to practice law in Georgia without sitting for the Georgia bar exam and without meeting the usual requirements for admission without examination. Specifically, O’Neal based her request for a waiver on her status as the spouse of an active member of the military who had been transferred here,” the court said in a unanimous unsigned opinion, per

The opinion continued that O’Neal did not meet the general requirements for admission to the Georgia Bar “on motion without examination, as outlined in the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law, because (1) she passed the bar in Louisiana, which does not offer reciprocity with Georgia or any other state, and (2) she has not been ‘primarily engaged in the active practice of law’ for the preceding five years, as she has only been a lawyer for three years,” the court said.

O’Neal graduated from Louisiana State University Law School in 2014, took and passed the Louisiana bar exam and was admitted to practice in Louisiana in October 2014, but  requested a waiver of the requirements based on the board’s  policy for military spouses.

The court told the board “to clearly apply the military waiver policy and explain why.”

“Given the incredibly high unemployment rate among spouses of active duty service members, we need initiatives such as the military spouse waiver program,” said Linda Klein of Baker Donelson, former president of the American Bar Association. “Military spouse underemployment creates many problems that threaten our national defense.”

New York Adds Watchdog Organization For Prosecutors

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments

Accurate court reporting is an important part of the criminal justice system, and so is fairness in prosecution.

New York state is working to reform its court system, and as part of that effort, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation establishing the nation’s first State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct.

The Commission will review and investigate prosecutorial conduct to address allegations of misconduct which lead to malicious prosecutions and wrongful convictions, frequently impacting people of color and marginalized communities.

By avoiding wrongful convictions and associated retrial costs and settlements, the Commission will save taxpayers money, the state said in a statement.

“Our criminal justice system must fairly convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent,” Governor Cuomo said. “When any prosecutor consciously disregards that fundamental duty, communities suffer and lose faith in the system, and they must have a forum to be heard and seek justice. This first-in-the-nation Commission will serve to give New Yorkers comfort that there is a system of checks and balances in the criminal justice system, and to root out any potential abuses of power to ensure that our justice system is just for all New Yorkers.”

Senator John DeFrancisco said, “There have been many cases of individuals who’ve been wrongfully convicted and who’ve served jail time because of the misconduct of some prosecutors. Despite the good work of most prosecutors, there must be a remedy against those who violate the law. This prosecutorial conduct commission legislation, signed by the Governor today, will provide that remedy and also provide oversight by an independent body, which over time will change the conduct of the wrongdoing of prosecutors, and help to ensure all a fairer criminal justice system.”

Governor Cuomo also led a successful effort to expand New York’s DNA databank in 2012, making New York the first state in the nation to require DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or Penal Law misdemeanor.

The Governor also established the Work for Success Initiative which has helped over 18,000 formerly incarcerated people find work upon their release.

Court Reporters And Captioners Are In Demand

Posted on: September 4th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments

Becoming a court reporter is a sure-fire path to a good job, experts say.

A recent National Court Reporters Association survey that looked at the trends affecting job opportunities in the profession found there will be 5,500 job openings available in the field across the country in the next five years, Smart Business Cleveland reported.

Miami court reporters

The high tech solutions adopted by CourtScribes Miami court reporters could help solve personnel shortages.

“We have a 100 percent employment rate for graduates,” Kelly Moranz, program manager and adjunct faculty in the Captioning and Court Reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College, told Smart Business. “I’m always getting calls about job openings. Court reporters and captionists are being hired locally and all over the country.”

She said part of the reason for the strong demand is that many court reporters are retiring, so jobs are opening up but there aren’t enough people to fill them.

Also, a lack of awareness about the profession means people don’t often think of it as a career choice, something that court reporting programs are working locally and nationally change.

Moranz said flexibility is one attractive feature about the job. Captioners and court reporters often can work from home with significant earning potential. She said it’s not uncommon for experienced reporters to earn more than $100,000 a year.

She said new reporters might start out doing freelance work like deposition hearings, arbitrations or CART captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community In court

There are also video captioning opportunities, including post-production jobs for companies like Nextflix and Hulu.

Training programs typically teach students the skills they need to earn their National Court Reporters Association or National Verbatim Reporters Association certification. There is also an associate degree option, which typically takes two years to complete.

The emphasis in court reporting is on accuracy and performance,  so students need to practice regularly to be successful.

Moranz noted that captioning and court reporting is an in-demand field offering excellent pay and great flexibility for those willing to put in the work.