President’s Message

December 2018 –

I can’t believe the time has arrived for me to fill the very shoes of all the leaders I’ve looked up to for the past 11 years. I am honored to be the one who is now shouldering the immense responsibility of carrying on the traditions of our incredible organization. Being the president of USCRA means I have the back of every single Federal Official Court Reporter.

The more I became involved with and immersed in USCRA, the more I wanted to do. I hope you can start to feel the same. There is so much work to be done. How about writing an article on any experience, court reporting or otherwise, and submitting it to our magazine, The Circuit Rider? How about reaching out to me or your circuit rep and finding out where your interests lie so you can help on a committee? We love to see our committees grow. Our new Reporter Training Committee is looking for volunteers. We also need to be mentoring court reporting students to keep the court reporting profession alive. We need to reach out to state reporters who might want to become federal reporters.

USCRA has the best conventions and the best seminars. For example, we met the Bonobos in Des Moines and learned about their human-like communication. At other conventions we heard about the unspoken laws on Indian reservations; we learned about the new level of dangerousness in human trafficking now taking place in the Midwest; we were provided incredible details and analysis on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Judge John R. Tunheim, and let me add that was riveting; we learned the details regarding the collaboration of federal and state agencies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; we learned what it’s like to be a court reporter on the Hill in DC; and we learned about physical fitness from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer. We enjoy and experience local cuisine everywhere we go. We meet reporters from all across our country. I’ve even met reporters from The Hague at our conventions. Everyone comes together from different cities, towns, and backgrounds; and yet we experience the very same things every day as federal court reporters. We make new friends, we bond, and we share the common thread of court reporting in the federal courts.

Fresh off the heels of a victory for Federal Official Court Reporters involving the Work Measurement Study, there’s never been a better time to continue to support our profession and be a member of USCRA. Thank you for your membership. USCRA is our voice, even for those who have not yet joined. Of course, every FOCR should be a member. Who else can federal officials rely on to support and fiercely defend our jobs than a fellow federal official? Each member of the USCRA Board, which includes the Executive Committee, is a working reporter who is volunteering their time and energy for the benefit of every single federal official out there.

We should be extremely grateful that the Judicial Resources Committee recommended that the Judicial Conference take another look at the decisions of the AO regarding the reporter staffing formula. We should also thank our Court Reporters Advisory Group members for their dedicated hard work and advocacy on our behalf. Immediate Past President Laura Robinson currently represents USCRA. Former board members Judy Gagnon and Brenda Fauber also serve on the CRAG committee.

USCRA is here for you, and I am proud to work for you.

Cindy Nirenberg
USCRA President 2018-2019