(This has been compiled to the best of USCRA’s records and memories.)
CREATION OF FEDERAL OFFICIAL REPORTING SYSTEM
1944 Federal Court Reporting System Created
Public Law No. 222, enacted in 1944, launched the system of hiring federal court report reporters to the US District Courts . Section 5a provided, “Each district court of the United States…shall appoint one or more court reporters….” President Truman’s signature on the Judiciary appropriation bill on May 21, 1945, permitted funds to become available on July 1 for the payment of salaries.
1945 Professional Association Created
Acknowledging the professional benefits of associating with their peers, the first federal officials immediately created an association devoted to benefiting federal court reporters.
To track the naming pattern of the Conference of United States Judges, they named it the Conference of United States Court Reporters (CUSCR).
The tireless efforts of Berry Horne, renowned 1914 stenotype champion, were largely responsible for passage of this legislation, as was the committed work of Hon John J. Parker, of Charlotte, North Carolina, Senior Judge of the US Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the 1945 words of three-term NSRA President Horn: “Since the beginning of this legislation in 1941 the NSRA has been in favor of an official system in the federal courts; we have worked harmoniously and to good effect with Judge Parker and with Mr. Chandler and his staff in the Administrative Office to bring about desired changes in the bill to the end that it would be more workable and practical…. “
FEDERAL REPORTING THROUGH THE YEARS
Dates, Events and Persons Important to the History of Federal Official Court Reporting and The United States Court Reporters Association
Joe Sweeney – Appointed a federal official in 1944 (Seattle, WA). Reported the Tokyo Rose trial and Alcatraz massacre cases.
Simon A. Lubow – Appointed a federal official (Southern District NY) on July 1, 1945. In 1978, Si Lubow continued to be active in USCRA, helping to defeat a bill which would place a cap on salaries of FOCRs. He retired in 1989.
Eldon N. Rich – Appointed a pro tem reporter in 1947. Became a federal official in May 1949. Teamed with Joe Sweeney to report the Tokyo Rose trial.
FEDERAL REPORTERS APPOINTED IN 1948
Everett L. Rodebaugh
James M. Yoder (Canal Zone)
FEDERAL REPORTERS APPOINTED IN 1951
Francis J. Attig
Nicholas J. Cincotta
OTHER NOTABLE REPORTERS AND EVENTS
M. EUGENE OLSEN
“The Epitome of Excellence In the Federal Reporting Arena.”
This title headed a May 1991 TCR article about this extraordinary FOCR, USCRA Circuit Representative from the District of Columbia. Mr. Olsen held CSRs from 14 states, developed and administered numerous testing programs, and was the recipient of state and national honors including NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award. He reported the John W. Hinckley Jr. trial (attemped assassination of President Ronald Reagan), reported the Big Three Conferences which ended World War II, and reported the Tokyo War Crimes trials. He joined the federal court system in 1972, and retired in 1992 following 50 reporting years.
JOHN E. BARNES
October 1970 TCR notes that John E. Barnes had been a federal official on Guam for 21 years.
Reporter in the USDC, Southern District of New York, and Vice President of USCRA in 1972-73. Very active in association affairs. In 1972 Jack addressed the Federal Courtroom Design Committee, requesting that FOCRs be consulted for input during courtroom design in order to permit hearing without strain and to avoid design flaws which cause furniture placement that obstruct reporter view of speakers. He also was active in evaluating the Stentron CAT system for courtroom use.
TCR reports that a panel of federal judges in the Third Circuit heard oral arguments in Philadelphia from lawyers who presented their cases from Pittsburgh using a unique Bell Telephone Company device called Picturephone. It cost $105 for 30 minutes of argument. The panel noted the savings of travel time and money to litigants, and that Bell Telephone had links only between 12 cities nationally.
During her 1983-84 term as president, Ms. Rogers urges all federal officials “to become computer compatible as soon as possible and to utilize computer-aided transcription equipment in the performance of their official duties.
1979 – USCRA President Dagdigian and NCRA President Doris Maldin outline a plan of mutual cooperation and joint action, reflecting the close relationship of their organizations.
1983 – Judicial Conference modifies transcript page format for FOCRs. About 15 percent more words are to be placed on a page, tacitly reducing transcript fees.
1988 – Congress passes the Sentencing Guidelines bill.
1993 – Sam Blumberg passes away. USCRA’s Award of Excellence is renamed in his honor.
1994 – Richard Smith creates “Historical Corner” column in TCR
THE CIRCUIT RIDER
Anthony J. Perrone, FOCR in Puerto Rico, created a mimeographed newsletter which he sent to all federal officials. It contained articles of interest, spiced with humor, which he named The Circuit Rider. Date of first issue is unknown.
Independently, the CUSCR Executive Council sent news bulletins in a publication they called Around the Circuit with CUSCR.
When Perrone retired as editor, the publications were merged and renamed The Circuit Rider – Around the Circuit with CUSCR.
By 1965, named The Circuit Rider – A Bulletin of the United States Court Reporters Association, it had a revised format and reached a larger readership.
In 1970 The Circuit Rider took on a look of professionalism and was named simply THE CIRCUIT RIDER. By 1981 it was published every other month. It is now published four times annually.
USCRA MAGAZINE EDITORS
Anthony J. Perrone
Gerry Yates (1969)
Dick Peppey (1970)
Earl Halvorson (1971)
Charles Howard (1972-76)
Charles Barnes (1977-78)
Sam Blumberg, Kay Howell (1984-85)
Barbara L. Buesing (1988-95)
Roger D. May (1996-1998)
Jerry Kelley (1999-2006)
Regina McBride (2006-2012)
Judy Gagnon (2012-2013)
Lisa Weisman (2013-2014)
Maria Weinbeck and Megan Hague (2014-current)
Each year until 1986, USCRA deliberately held its annual meeting and conventions in the same city as NCRA, and in the days immediately preceding their conventions. This reflected the close relationship between NCRA and USCRA, which often resulted in future NCRA leadership positions for USCRA officers. It also allowed USCRA convention attendees to simply extend their stay in order to attend both conventions. In 1986 USCRA began holding its annual conventions in October.
1964 Nassau, The Bahamas
1970 San Francisco, CA
1971 Miami Beach, FL
1972 Denver, CO
1973 Seattle, WA
1974 Houston, TX
1975 Kansas City, MO
1976 Washington, DC
1977 Chicago, IL
1978 Newport Beach, CA
1979 Minneapolis, MN
1980 Atlanta, GA
1981 San Mateo, CA
1982 New Orleans, LA
1983 Washington, DC
1984 Las Vegas, NV
1985 Kansas City, MO
1986 Key Biscayne, FL (First Annual Convention held in October)
1987 Nashville, TN
1988 San Diego, CA
1989 New Orleans, LA
1990 Seattle, WA
1991 Portland, ME
1992 Colorado Springs, CO
1993 Washington, DC
1994 Lake Tahoe, CA
1995 Key West, FL
1996 Boston, MA
1997 New Orleand, LA
1998 San Francisco, CA
1999 Charleston, So. Carolina
2000 Scottsdale, AZ
2001 Chicago, IL
2002 Washington, DC
2003 Key West, FL
2004 Detroit, MI
2005 San Diego, CA
2006 Providence, RI
2007 Portland, OR
2008 Denver, CO
2009 Key West, FL
2010 Alexandria, VA
2011 Maui, HI
2012 Charleston, SC
2013 San Antonio, TX
2014 St. Petersburg, FL
USCRA SPEED CONTEST
USCRA began conducting speed contests in 1988. It consisted of three readings: A Literary at 220 wpm, a Jury Charge at 240 wpm, and a 2-voice Q&A at 285.
1988 Mindi Colchico – First USCRA Speed Contest Champion
1990 Fred Cole
1991 Fred Cole
1992 Carla Wollin Boyer
In 1995, the USCRA Speed Contest became a Realtime Speed Contest. Held at the Annual Convention, it consists of one two-voice Q&A reading at 230 words per minute, with 96% accuracy required to pass.
1999 Jane LaPorte
2002 Sue Trischan
2004 Sue Trischan
In 2008, the realtime speed contest was renamed the
John R. Tunheim Speed Contest . The Board of Directors approved this
name change in order to acknowledge Judge Tunheim’s extraordinary
support of all federal officials during the CM/ECF campaign.
The current logo of USCRA was developed in 1978 during the presidency of Richard Dagdigian. The shield (stars and strips) signify the national scope of the association, and the wreaths symbolize the unity of the circuits.
The domain name uscra.org was obtained in January 1997.