Lynchburg, here we come! Our March 20-22, 2020, convention will be held at the beautiful location of The Virginian Hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia. The year will be 2020, and our convention’s theme is The Roaring ‘20s. This will be a wonderful time for us to reflect on the past and future of court reporting. VCRA is now in the process of securing speakers and planning events for our convention, and it is shaping up to be a convention with many new speakers mixed in with some old favorites.
Recently, during a discussion with a potential speaker for our convention, I was asked to describe the certification requirements in Virginia for a practicing court reporter. As our members know, literally anyone can hold himself or herself out to be a court reporter. At present, our Code of Virginia is silent with regard to who may practice as a court reporter in our commonwealth. This particular convention presenter lives in a state where there is mandatory certification and was astounded to learn Virginia does not have any requirements in place for court reporters.
On the same day, another conversation, I was asked the question, “Why do you even care about licensure?” I have given much thought to this question. Why should we care if court reporters are certified and licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia? The answer to why is state certification ensures a standard of competence to protect the consumer. Court reporters are responsible for protecting the record for all parties. The work of court reporters is of critical importance in the production of accurate and timely recording and transcriptions of proceedings. The public should be able to rely on the fact that their court reporter has attained the necessary skill levels of proficiency and competency.
The Board of Directors of VCRA will be holding a series of town halls beginning in the fall so we may share the provisions of the proposed bill for licensure, and we will be available to answer questions.
VCRA is planning on once again appearing as an exhibitor in Hampton at the 2019 Virginia School Counselor Association Conference. The dates are October 16-18, 2019. Many court reporters volunteered their time last year to promote our profession, and all who did so expressed this was a rewarding experience for them. Volunteers demonstrated their writing skills and shared information about court reporting with the school counselors.
Stay tuned as we make announcements of the dates and locations of our planned town halls, meet-and-greet socials and fundraising events; and please let us know if you are able to participate in October in Hampton or perhaps teach an A-to-Z class.
The Board of Directors of VCRA appreciates the support of our members and sponsors. We arededicated to promoting the profession of court reporting and the general welfare and mutual professional interests of Virginia's freelance and official court reporters.
Leslie Etheredge, RMR, CCR