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LEGISLATIVE UPDATES


GCRA lobbying efforts affect all court reporters in Georgia, official and freelance. Donations to the GCRA Defense Fund are absolutely necessary for lobbying efforts to continue. Please donate today at Defense Fund.

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!

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 Brad Carver 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 Brad Carver, 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.