New Proposals Draw Fire from Georgia Court Reporters

Court reporters in the state of Georgia are up in arms over new regulations that judges are considering, one of which would require a national credential for real-time reporters who have been newly certified, and which could take effect as soon as 2015.

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Court reporters would have two years from the time they are certified to pass a national certification exam and this, according to representatives with the Georgia Shorthand Reporters Association, would “put an end” to the profession of court reporting in the state as it is currently known. According to statements made on the Association’s website, there is no other court reporting program in the country that has this requirement.

The proposal essentially dictates that court reporters are required to pass the certification exam or find another career path. However, the certification proposal is not the only one that has drawn fire from the Association and from court reporters around Georgia.

Another proposal would allow the use of electronic recording equipment instead of live court reporters to record transcripts of court proceedings. Also, there are proposed changes to the pay schedule for the delivery of completed transcripts that would see reporters getting paid less for taking more time to perform their jobs.

Proponents of the changes say that they are in the best interests of the court system in Georgia and were developed as the result of and in response to feedback received by the Board of Court Reporters from around the state sent by judges, attorneys, and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

The Shorthand Reporters Association has put in a request that using electronic recording equipment in lieu of live court reporters not be made a mandate but only be used as an option when absolutely necessary, such as in the case of a reporter having moved or being otherwise unavailable.