||In-depth legislative update emailed to GCRA members. GCRA is engaging in ongoing meetings with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to modernize the Court Reporting Act (CRA).
||GCRA GOLD DOME DAY was cancelled due to logistics and lack of GCRA members' response to attend in person. It will be rescheduled to a later time.
||GCRA membership informed of the opportunity to participate in Gold Dome Day on Friday, 3/11/2022 at 7:00 a.m.
||Legislative Committee finalized the direction on how GCRA would participate in Gold Dome Day. Our goal will be to inform those legislators that attend the breakfast meeting regarding GCRA's ongoing mission to protect the public and the judicial process by maintaining the integrity of the records of Georgia's legal proceedings.
GCRA appreciates the opportunity to work with the Judicial Council / AOC on modernizing the CRA.
||GCRA received notification that the 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA will not be introduced at this session of the Georgia Legislature. GCRA was also requested to give comprehensive feedback on the proposed changes to the 2018 Policies and Fees for Court Reporting Services for Civil and Criminal Cases. (See 2/5-6/2022 below)
||Legislative Committee received notification that GCRA would be participating on 3/11/2022 in "GCRA Gold Dome Day" at Georgia's state capitol. The purpose is to meet those legislators on the judiciary committees for both the house and senate who will be considering the proposed legislation that will be submitted regarding modernizing the Court Reporting Act.
||GCRA received feedback that the AOC appreciated GCRA's efforts in getting back to the AOC so quickly with our substantive input. GCRA offered to collaborate further with AOC on modernizing the CRA.
||Now available to GCRA members only is the document submitted to AOC that contains GCRA's line-by-line responses to AOC's 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA. Also available is an updated GCRA summary of the key points that have arisen from review of the 1/14/2022 proposed changes.
||GCRA Executive Committee approved and submitted to the AOC the Legislative Committee's written comments on the 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA. The comments consisted of a line-by-line review with direct changes/deletions/additions on AOC's 21-page proposed legislation. GCRA updated its summary regarding its objections and concerns regarding the proposed changes.
||GCRA Legislative Committee, comprised of official CCRs, freelance CCRs, firm owners, and CCR board members of the Board of the BCR continued meeting in special session to perform a line-by-line review and direct comment of the 21-page 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA.
||The Legislative Committee determined that the proposed CRA refers to the 2018 Policies and Fees for Court Reporting Services for Civil and Criminal Cases and 2018 Board of Court Reporting Rules and Regulation. GCRA then inquired into whether AOC would be updating those documents. GCRA was informed that the 2018 Policies and Fees document was being updated and split into two separate documents, one for criminal and one for civil, and that the BCR Rules and Regulation was being updated. Members of the Legislative Committee reviewed the proposed 2018 Civil Policies and Fees determined there are significant issues that need to be addressed and corrected within that document.
||GCRA Legislative Committee met in special session to perform a line-by-line review of the 21-page 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA and created a document capturing the comments of the official CCRs, freelance CCRs, firm owners, and a CCR board member of the Board of Court Reporting Board that were in attendance.
||GCRA met with staff of AOC and brought forward the concepts in the summary submitted earlier to AOC. At the conclusion of the constructive meeting, GCRA was invited to give the court reporters' viewpoint and submit changes to the 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the Court Reporting Act.
||GCRA received a request to meet with staff of AOC to discuss "Digital Court Reporting Legislation."
||GCRA's lobbyist submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) GCRA Legislative Committee's input on the 1/14/2022 proposed changes, along with the summary of GCRA's concurrence, proposals, and concerns/objections regarding the proposed changes.
||GCRA's Legislative Committee met and attempted to address the 21-page 1/14/2022 proposed changes to the CRA in as much detail as possible. A summary was also created outlining what GCRA agreed with, proposals GCRA had, and concerns/objections regarding the proposed changes as well as the definitions being used and also definitions that were needed.
||GCRA received an email containing proposed changes to the Court Reporting Act (CRA) dated 1/14/2022 and was given seven days to respond. GCRA was informed that the intention was to introduce the proposed changes to the CRA in this current Georgia legislative session.
||Information received from Judicial Council's Subcommittee on Court Reporting Matters was that the Court Reporting Act (CRA) was not going to be introduced this current Georgia legislative session.
||Judicial Council's attention was diverted to responding to the impacts on Georgia's judicial system due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
|DECEMBER 18, 2020
||---CALL TO ACTION---
The Judicial Council is proposing these changes to our rules and regulations:
(1) To the fee schedule (again) by taking away our civil takedown this time, as if getting civil court covered wasn’t hard enough. This affects officials and freelancers!!!
(2) Making freelancers act ex officio as an official reporter while covering civil court and they must follow the fee schedule instead of charging their firm’s usual and customary rates for court
(3) For freelancers, they are trying to regulate what we charge for copies of depositions.
(4) They want to limit the number of court reporters on the BOCR without the opportunity to be chair of our own board.
(5) They are trying to regulate freelancers’ setup of their pages and margins.
These issues affect ALL court reporters who work in Georgia. These are NOT legislative issues. These changes will affect our livelihood.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Watch the GCRA Legislative Update Zoom meeting from December 10, 2020 to get a better understanding of the issues.
2. Watch the GCRA Legislative Update Zoom meeting from December 22, 2020 to get more information.
3. Review the Judicial Council Proposed Legislation Draft (the most alarming portions have been highlighted)
4. Contact members of the Judicial Council Members List - Dec 11, 2020, State Bar Advisory Cmte & Judicial Sub Cmte Contact List
5. Write a letter, email or call by December 31, 2020!
|March 20, 2020
||GCRA at its lobbyist's office participated in a conference call with the AOC to clarify moving forward and working together. Judge McMillian announced the creation of 2 subcommittees with court reporter representation. It was also announced legislation would not be "dropped" this session.
|DECEMBER 16, 2019
||Due to the shortage of court reporters in many rural areas of Georgia, the Judicial Council set forth proposed legislation updating the Court Reporting Act of Georgia, which was passed in July 2019 unanimously. The Court Reporters Matters Committee is drafting the legislation, and the Board of Court Reporting will be tasked with promulgating rules and regulations governing the use of digital recording in courts as well as e-filing of transcripts. I encourage you to read the proposed litigation here: Judicial Council of Georgia Excerpt. GCRA Board members, Charna Perloe, LeQuetta Walker and Brenda Elwell attended the Judicial Council meeting on December 6, 2019.
To sum up the latest revisions:
(1) Each judge will have the discretion of using a digital method of recording proceedings or a live court reporter.
(2) E-filing originals by court reporters will begin in 2020 in courts that have electronic filing. (3) Court reporters will no longer be responsible for keeping trial exhibits and/or evidence
(4) Two new licenses are proposed when a digital method is used: Certified Digital Operator (CDO) and a Certified Transcriptionist (CT). Neither of these positions is considered a “court reporter.” CDOs and CTs will be regulated by the Board of Court Reporting.
We do not want to see any court reporter lose their job. Whether you are a stenographer or a voice writer, now is the time to improve your skills. Make yourself invaluable to your clients and your judge. Invest in yourself. You are worth it, and the profession is worth it.
GCRA is working with its lobbyist to reinstate the criminal takedown fee. This is not a legislative issue, so we are hopeful that it will happen sooner rather than later.
|OCTOBER 7, 2019
The Judicial Council of Georgia has voted to move forward with proposed legislation to change the structure of the Board of Court Reporting and the statutory law affecting court reporters in Georgia. The GCRA board recently met with Judge Carla McMillian, who is the head of the Court Reporting Matters Committee, as well as Tyler Mashburn, representing the Administrative Office of the Courts, to explain our concerns.
What we are facing will be a two-year process, and the proposed changes will affect every court reporter in the state of Georgia, whether official or freelance, by letting each judge in state and superior courts decide whether to use digital recording in their courtrooms, as one proposed change. GCRA will be working with our lobbyist to have a voice in this process, and we will keep you updated.
More information on the proposed legislation can be found at this link - JC CRMC July 30 2019.pdf.