Cyndi Tumlin, CCR, RPR President Alabama Court Reporters Association

Still Better Together

Summer in all its glory appears to be giving way to Fall.  COVID had faded to the point of folks feeling like it’s a thing of the past but has now raised its ugly head once again with a vengeance.  Freelancers are working hard; Officials are back in the courtroom with juries and a backlog of cases.  What a blessing it is to be part of a profession that allowed us to remain in the workplace and to contribute to the judicial system being able to move forward through this Pandemic.  Every one of you is AWESOME!! At the end of July, Alabama had a fantastic presence in Las Vegas at the NCRA Conference & Expo.  What an extraordinary opportunity to attend and participate.  Jennifer Kissic, Tatelyn Noda, Jordan Groves, and myself from your ACRA board attended.  There were numerous others, including the teaching staff and students from Gadsden State Realtime.  We had the honor and privilege of celebrating alongside the One and Only Alan Peacock, the NCRA 2021 Distinguished Service Award winner.  Be sure to read the article about Alan’s award.  It is just a given that I always come home revived and ready to dive back in with a fresh, renewed love for Steno! Jennifer and I attended the Annual Business Meeting and the NCSA sessions.  I have attended conference sessions in years past but have grown to truly love the business meeting and NCSA meetings.  This is where the rubber meets the road in my opinion.  NCSA has become your voice for the membership directly to your NCRA board of directors.  It is also a way for the NCRA board to query each state represented and gain useful information about what is actually happening on the ground in each region.  There is always a common theme – reporter shortage and digitals.  Some states continue to lose certification and/or officials in the courtrooms, as well.  It’s beginning to look a little like the Wild, Wild West out there, folks.  Makes me very thankful to be a stenographer in Alabama. It is so very important for every licensed court reporter in Alabama to remain vigilant and mindful, whether freelancing or in a court setting.  The Protect Your Record lanyards are such an awesome way to display that you are a licensed stenographer.   Speaking up and voicing your name and license number at the beginning of proceedings is also a great way to draw attention to the fact that you’re a licensed stenographer.  We have license certification in Alabama, and that is helping to protect us, but we cannot rest on our laurels, guys.  We must be proactive!  We must ask for those license numbers and be proud to display ours.  We must check transcripts to ensure they’re being taken by a licensed court reporter and make sure that the license number is on the certificate.  We must keep our eyes and ears open every day and take that stand when it is necessary to report any unlicensed activity.  If we won’t help protect ourselves, how can we expect others to? As a member of your ACRA board and current president, I have had many opportunities over the last few years to be a part of committees and discussions with our state leaders in an effort to keep our rules concise and direct and only allow licensed court reporters to practice within this state.   There are many rules being reviewed during this COVID Pandemic time that involve court reporting.  We are trying to stay ever vigilant and keep an active presence to ensure that court reporters have a voice in any rule or statute that involves making, taking, and/or maintaining the record.  We are the Guardians of the Record!  There has never been a more important time for us to come together for the greater good and work alongside each other, regardless of what discipline of court reporting we practice, for the future of stenography in Alabama. To that end, the theme and mindset of the NCRA Convention & Expo was geared toward practicing, certifications, and promoting stenography in a positive, yet aggressive manner.  Promoting ourselves in a positive, upbeat way is so critical.  Practice to improve your already awesome skills, seek out new certification, review your rules and policies to make sure you are current on the best practices in your field, update yourself on grammar and punctuation rules – those things are always changing – dig into new technologies that are out there and see what you might implement to better your skillset.  Virtual video conferencing for officials and freelancing has brought on a new challenge and a wonderful opportunity to showcase your talents.  Familiarize yourself with IT issues that keep occurring in your virtual proceedings.   Being useful, prepared, and knowledgeable is one of your greatest weapons! Along those lines, ACRA is live and in person in January!  How exciting is that?  I am looking forward to seeing everyone and regaining some of our normal.  Jennifer Kissic is planning an awesome conference.  She’s included some details here in an article in FTR.  Don’t miss out on those new and exciting events that are in the works. As I’ve said in every article that I’ve written, “We are Better Together!”  This is such a crucial time for Stenography.  Let us all be a contributing part of the solution and never part of the problem.  Alabama has the best network of contributing court reporters in the entire nation, without a doubt.  I stand proudly at every opportunity and say that I represent Alabama Court Reporters. Let’s all continue to stand together.


Friday, OCTOBER 1, 2021
(Registration Deadline: Monday, September 27, 2021)
Complete Registration and Pay Online
Mission Statement
“The mission of the Alabama Court Reporters Association is to serve our members and the profession of court reporting by promoting ethical practices, advocating certification, and providing continuing education for verbatim shorthand reporters.”
For The Record

ACRA is proud to be an affiliated state association with NCRA and supports Ethics First.

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