Welcome to USCRA, the United States Court Reporters Association















BYLAWS

Article I - Meetings
Article II – Fiscal Year
Article III – Dues and Privileges of Membership
Regular Members
Associate Members
Retired Lifetime Members
Honorary Members
Supporting Members
Student Members
Article IV – Board of Directors
Article V – Officers
Article VI – Executive Committee
Article VII – Duties of Officers
Article VIII – Duties of the Board of Directors
Article IX – Committees
Article X -- Quorum
Article XI – Amendments
Article XII -- Miscellaneous
Article XIII – Liability Disclaimer
Article XIV – Rules of Order


BYLAWS OF THE UNITED STATES COURT REPORTERS ASSOCIATION

ARTICLE I - MEETINGS

The Board of Directors shall have the authority to decide whether to hold an annual meeting in any given year and, if such meeting be held, the authority to determine the time and place of such meeting.

Special meetings of the Association, at which no business may be transacted except that specified in a written notice to members, may be called by the Board of Directors. Special meetings shall be called by the Board of Directors on written request, signed by one-third of the voting members of the Association, to be held within sixty (60) days from the receipt of such request, the time and place of the meeting to be determined by the Board of Directors.

Telephonic conference calls and/or online, electronic communication may be held when called by the President, President-Elect, or Vice President on 24-hour notice or less where discussion or action is needed to be taken by the Board of Directors immediately.

Telephonic conference calls and/or online, electronic communication may be held when three or more board members, orally or in writing, so request of any of the officers named above.



ARTICLE II – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Association shall be on a calendar year basis.



ARTICLE III – DUES AND PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP
REGULAR MEMBERS. Regular Members holding appointment as an official court reporter under Title 28, Section 753, shall be required to pay annual dues in an amount to be established by the Board of Directors from time to time, said dues to become due and payable on January l of each year. A new appointee to become a member shall be required to pay in the fiscal year of his or her appointment in the proportionate part of the annual dues from the first day of the month following his or her appointment to December 3l.

Members who job-share shall be required to pay only one-half of the dues of a regular member.

From the beginning of the calendar year on January 1 until the adjournment of the annual meeting, the right to vote of a member whose dues for the current year have been paid shall be unabridged.

Any member who is current in the payment of his or her dues has the right to vote. Any member whose dues are not paid by April of any year shall be deemed to be in arrears, and shall be dropped from the roll and suspended from the privileges of membership, without the necessity of any formal notification thereof.

Eligibility to be elected to an office, including that of Circuit Representative, shall be the same as eligibility to vote therefor.

In any fiscal year, if deemed necessary by the Board of Directors, each member shall be requested to pay any additional amount not greater than one-half of one percent of his or her salary.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS. Any court reporter not holding appointment as official court reporter under Title 28, Section 753, United States Code, but who is otherwise qualified under Title 28, Section 753, to be official court reporter, or any other court reporter who wishes to become an Associate Member, shall be sponsored by a Regular Member and approved by the Board of Directors, and shall be eligible to become Associate Members of this Association upon application to the Association, and payment of annual dues in an amount to be established by the Board of Directors from time to time, said dues to become due and payable on January 1 of each year. Associate Members are accorded all rights and privileges of Regular Members, except that they may not vote on any matters or for the election of Officers or Circuit Representatives, except the election of Associate Representatives, as set forth in these bylaws, who shall be elected only by vote of Associate Members, and such Associate Representatives (limit of two) shall be members of the Board of Directors. If a question arises as to whether or not a court reporter or court reporters applying for membership as Associate Members properly come within the above description of otherwise qualified, the Board of Directors shall finally determine the issue.
RETIRED LIFETIME MEMBERS. Any United States Court Reporter who shall have served in such capacity for at least ten (10) years, and been a dues-paying member of USCRA for at least ten (10) years, who has given distinguished service to this Association, may, upon retirement from office, be elected to Lifetime Membership by majority vote of the Association in Convention assembled. Lifetime Members shall not be required to pay annual dues. Lifetime Members, who have been Officers of the Association, shall have the right to vote.
HONORARY MEMBERS. Any person who has attained high rank in the court reporting profession as a practitioner of the art of shorthand reporting, as an author of shorthand literature, or a benefactor of the profession, but who is not in the active practice of shorthand reporting, or others, who are not court reporters, who have actively supported the court reporting profession, upon recommendation of the Board of Directors may be elected an Honorary Member, provided two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at an annual convention shall vote to confirm such recommendation. Honorary Members shall not have the right to vote.
SUPPORTING MEMBERS. Any person not in any way actively engaged in the verbatim reporting of proceedings, but who is interested in the preservation, support, and advancement of the field of verbatim shorthand reporting, and who is not otherwise eligible for membership and who is sponsored by a Regular Member, shall, upon application to the Executive Director and approval by the Board of Directors, become a Supporting Member upon payment of annual dues in an amount to be established by the Board of Directors from time to time. Supporting Members shall not have the right to vote.
STUDENT MEMBERS. Any student of verbatim shorthand reporting who is certified by a verbatim shorthand reporter training program instructor or director as having enrolled in a verbatim shorthand reporting school, shall be eligible to become a Student Member upon application to the Executive Director and upon payment of annual dues in an amount to be established by the Board of Directors from time to time, said dues to become due and payable on January 1 of each year. Student Members shall not have the right to vote.

ARTICLE IV – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors, as the policymaking body of the Association, shall have direction, supervision, and control of the affairs of the Association, and shall consist of Circuit Representatives, the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, as well as the Immediate Past President.

Each circuit or subdivision thereof shall have one Circuit Representative elected by a plurality vote of the members voting therein, except the 9th Circuit, which shall have two Circuit Representatives. The 9th Circuit shall consist of two subdivisions, known as the Northern Division and the Southern Division.

The Board of Directors shall have exclusive authority in determining the membership of each subdivision.

A President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, or Immediate Past President who is also a Circuit Representative shall have but one vote in the Board of Directors.

One Associate Member Representative-at-large shall be eligible to be elected for each fifty (50) Associate Members, not to exceed a total of two such representatives, who shall be elected from the Association Membership by a plurality vote of the Associate Members voting.

Any Officer, Circuit Representative, or other member of the Board of Directors may be removed from the Board by a three-fourths vote of the Directors present and voting at a regular, midwinter or special meeting, whenever in its judgment the best interest of the Association would be served thereby.

For the purpose of the election of Circuit Representatives and Associate Member Representatives, the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary shall, between July l5 and August l of each year, send to each member eligible to vote, as provided in Article III, a ballot listing those eligible for election in that circuit, or at large as to Associate Members. Each member receiving such ballot shall vote for one person (or two as the Associate Member Representative, if applicable) and return the ballot, which, to be counted, must be received by the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary not later than August 20th of said year.

The term of office of Circuit Representatives and Associate Member Representative(s) shall commence on October 1, prior to the convening of the annual meeting of the Association, and shall continue until October 1 of the succeeding year, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

A member, appointed after April 1, who pays his or her proportionate dues for the current year too late to be included in the eligible list on the ballot, may request a ballot and have his or her vote counted if the ballot is returned to and received by the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary not later than August 20th of said year.

If no candidate for Circuit Representative or associate Member Representative receives a plurality because of a tie vote, the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary shall notify the members in that circuit or subdivision thereof, or the Associate Membership-at-large, and shall enclose a second ballot containing the names of only those candidates who participated in the tie vote, which second ballot, to be counted, must be returned to and received by the Secretary-Treasurer/ Executive Director/Executive Secretary not later than September15 of the current year. If the second vote results in a tie, the Circuit Representative for that circuit, or the Associate Member Representative may be elected by the Board of Directors.

If a Circuit Representative or Associate Member Representative is unable to act, he or she shall appoint an alternate to serve for a specific meeting or purpose, but not for the entire year. If a vacancy occurs in any circuit or of an Associate Member Representative, a special election of a Circuit Representative or associate Member Representative shall be held at the direction of the President. A vacancy in any other office may be filled for the unexpired term by the Board of Directors.

Each member of the Board of Directors, or the alternate if the member is not able to attend, shall vote for his or her circuit in the meeting of the Board of Directors, decision of the Board to be by majority vote of those present.

Any member of the Board of Directors may submit any question for determination by the Board to the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary, and the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary shall forthwith transmit said question to all members of the Board for decision by majority vote within thirty days after transmission of such question.

On a vote of four members of the Board of Directors, any question shall be submitted to all voting members of the Association by mail for decision by majority vote of such members voting within thirty days after the mailing of the ballots.

All committees shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

A quorum shall consist of fifty-one (51) percent of the currently constituted members of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
The President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected at the annual meeting by majority vote of the voting members present.

The term of officers shall commence upon the adjournment of the annual meeting of the Association and shall continue until the adjournment of the next annual meeting or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the President-Elect shall immediately assume the office of President.

The President shall appoint an Historian.

ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Immediate Past President shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Association.

The Executive Committee shall have all of the powers of the Board of Directors as set forth in these bylaws between regular, midwinter, and special meetings of the Board of Directors. However, those powers shall be exercised only when it is impractical or impossible to conduct a telephone conference call and/or online, electronic communication in which all board members participate, or where the issue to be determined is of an emergency nature and an immediate decision is necessary.

ARTICLE VII – DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President or inability to perform his or her duties, the President-Elect shall have the powers and perform the duties of President.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be present and act as secretary at meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors may provide for payment to the Secretary-Treasurer for his or her services or for assistance. No other officer shall receive any compensation.

The Secretary-Treasurer/or Executive Director/Executive Secretary, if one has been employed, shall have charge of all funds of the Association; shall deposit the same in the name of the Association in such bank as the Board of Directors may approve; shall disburse the funds of the Association on appropriations by the Board of Directors by check countersigned by the President, President-Elect or Vice President, if the Board of Directors shall so order; shall, in the form prescribed by the Board of Directors, keep accounts to be audited annually at the direction of the Board of Directors; shall make a report to the Board of Directors at any time upon request; and shall make an annual report to the Association at the annual meeting.

All officers shall, in addition, perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office, as well as those which the Association or the Board of Directors shall from time to time require, and shall be ex-officio members of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

ARTICLE VIII – DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall have general supervision and direction of the affairs of the Association. It shall have power to employ and pay such persons as may be necessary for the conduct of the business of the Association, and to appropriate for necessary and proper purposes the funds of the Association, including the employment of an Executive Director/Executive Secretary, or an association management company, who or which shall handle all USCRA funds upon posting of a bond in an amount to be determined by the Board of Directors.

If an Executive Director/Executive Secretary or association management company is employed, as set forth in the above paragraph, said Executive Director/ Executive Secretary or association management company shall act upon directions from the President and/or the Executive Committee, unless otherwise ordered by the President and/or the Executive Committee.

It may appropriate funds for the necessary expenses, or part thereof, of the officers, members of the Board of Directors, President, and members of committees. The Board of Directors shall require a bond and fix the amount thereof for any officer or member of the Association having money or property of the Association in his or her possession, the cost of such bond to be paid by the Association.

It shall hold a regular meeting at the time of the annual meeting of the Association, a midwinter meeting when deemed necessary by the Executive Committee, and shall have special meetings when requested by a majority of the Board.

It shall have a record kept by the Secretary-Treasurer of all its official acts, and shall present a report of its activities at the annual meeting.

The Board of Directors may provide for payment to the Secretary-Treasurer for his or her services or for assistance. No other officer shall receive any compensation.

Election of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be elected every year by the Board of Directors at the annual board meeting. There shall be five members on the committee with the Immediate Past President as chair. No current officer shall serve on the Nominating Committee. Whenever possible, consideration shall be given to geographical representation.


ARTICLE IX – COMMITTEES
The President shall appoint the following committees, except the Nominating Committee, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors:

COMMITTEE ON MEMBERSHIP. This committee shall consist of the members of the Board of Directors and such others who may be appointed. It shall be the duty of each member to secure as voting members all of the United States Court Reporters in his or her circuit.

COMMITTEE ON FEDERAL LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. The duties of this committee shall be to assist the officers and the Circuit Representative of USCRA in promoting the adoption, amendment, and maintenance of proper and satisfactory federal laws and regulations affecting the members of the Association and the shorthand reporting profession. Members of this committee may be authorized, when such authority is granted by the officers of the Association, to officially represent all members of the Association.

AUDITING COMMITTEE. An auditing committee to audit the books of the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary annually, and report to the annual meeting of the Association.

ETHICS COMMITTEE. The duties of this committee shall be to investigate allegations of unethical conduct on the part of members of USCRA, and to recommend to the Board of Directors such remedial action as the Ethics Committee deems appropriate to the circumstances.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE. The duty of this committee shall be to formulate a slate consisting of nominees for each of the various offices of the Association.

1. The Nominating Process.

A slate of nominees for each of the various offices of the Association shall be formulated. One hundred-twenty (120) days before the convening of the next annual convention, the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary shall send a notice to the membership informing them that the Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for offices to be filled at the next convention.

The slate of nominees shall be placed in the hands of the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary not later than sixty (60) days prior to the opening date of the next annual meeting with instructions to the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary to cause the same to be duplicated, and to mail one copy thereof to each voting member of the association at least forty-five (45) days prior to the next annual meeting.

Notice of nominations from the floor for each office to be filled by the convention shall be made in writing and placed in the hands of the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary not later than thirty (30) days prior to the opening date of the next annual meeting, with instructions to the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary to cause the same to be duplicated, and to mail one copy thereof to each voting member of the Association within five (5) days of receipt of the nomination.

There shall be no nominations from the floor except that which is provided for in these bylaws.

2. The Election Procedure.

The election shall be by voice vote at the annual meeting unless there is more than one nominee for one office, and then the election shall be by ballot. A majority vote shall elect. There shall be no absentee voting and proxies are not allowed. The term of office shall commence upon adjournment of the annual meeting of the Association.

PRESIDENT’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE. All past officers of the Association shall compose the President’s Advisory Committee. The officers and directors may turn to the Committee for advice, or the Committee may offer advice upon its own initiative, which advice shall not be binding upon the officers or directors but is to be merely advisory in character. The President shall name the chairperson of this committee.

OTHER COMMITTEES. The President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, may appoint any other committees.



ARTICLE X -- QUORUM
Quorum of the Association for the purpose of transacting business at a convention shall be twenty (20) percent of the voting members attending.



ARTICLE XI – AMENDMENTS
For the purpose of voting on proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary, when directed to do so by four or more members of the Board of Directors, shall mail ballots containing the proposed amendments to all voting members, and properly marked and signed ballots received by the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary within twenty (20) days thereafter shall be counted, and the result certified by the Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director/Executive Secretary.



ARTICLE XII- MISCELLANEOUS
The Board of Directors shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws.
The headquarters office of the Association shall be maintained at such address as the Board of Directors may determine.
All provisions of the previous Constitution and Bylaws of the United States Court Reporters Association are hereby replaced by the provisions hereof.

ARTICLE XIII – LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
Nothing herein shall constitute members of the Association as partners for any purpose. No member, officer, director, agent or employee of the Association shall be liable for the acts or failure to act on the part of any other member, officer, director, agent, or employee of the Association, nor shall any member, officer, director, agent, or employee be liable for his or her act or failure to act under this Constitution and Bylaws except for acts or omissions arising from his or her willful misfeasance.



ARTICLE XIV – RULES OF ORDER
The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of the business of the Board of Directors and the Association in matters not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws. The Board of Directors shall be the final arbiter of any disputes of interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws.



Adopted: December 6, l946
Amended: January 31, 1948
April 10, 1951
April 16, 1955
June 16, 1957
January 12, 1958
September 15, 1961
August 2, 1967
February 20, 1977
December 7, 1978
June 1, 1986
March 25, 1992
October 5, 1995
June 10, 1999
June 10, 2000
May 1, 2006