President’s Message

September 2019 –

Several years ago I read a book titled The Year of Yes. I checked the
book out from the library because the title intrigued me. Truth be told, I
often choose books because I like the title, but that discussion is more
appropriate for an article in The Book Reporter section. While The Year
of Yes was not a great book, the premise of the book and the idea of a
“Year of Yes” was something that stuck with me. Deciding you are
going to say yes to invitations that come your way, even if they might
initially seem like something you wouldn’t ordinarily want to do, is a
great challenge and can bring great rewards.

Maybe it was a “Year of Yes” attitude that caused me to say yes when
Rick Ford contacted me on behalf of the Nominating Committee to ask
if I would be willing to be interviewed for a position on USCRA’s
Executive Committee. There are aspects of serving the association in
this capacity that certainly takes me outside my comfort zone. Learning
about the interactions with groups like the AO, CRAG, JRC, and JCUS
has been eye-opening and often frustrating. What I can say after three
years is advocating for Federal Official Court Reporters with judges,
clerks, and others is something I am proud to do and is becoming easier
for me even though I am an introvert by nature.

This job of being a Federal Official Court Reporter is uniquely designed
to make us say yes to challenges. Non-reporters cannot understand the
pressure of trying to capture every word spoken by the foreign witness
who is discussing the static stability ratio of an Isuzu Trooper. Regular
civilians will never feel the pride of watching the drug name quetiapine
somehow translate into English in realtime even though you weren’t
sure how it was written in your dictionary. Those who haven’t failed
what seemed like an easy realtime test can never know how good it feels
to pass what seemed like a hard realtime test. Every day as reporters we
say yes to the challenge of trying to write cleaner and faster than we did
the day before, no matter the subject matter.

In the spirit of a “Year of Yes,” I would invite you to say yes to joining
us for an USCRA convention. As you read through this issue of the
magazine, you will see information on USCRA’s Annual Convention
coming up October 11 – 13 in Oklahoma City where you can meet other
brave people who say yes to the everyday challenges of working in U.S.
District Court. Terri Martin and Jan Davis have picked a great venue
and lined up interesting speakers. And, as with all USCRA conventions,
there will be a hospitality suite where you can catch up with old friends
and meet new ones who understand your experiences.
You are also invited to say yes to becoming a member of an USCRA
committee. My term as president started a little early this year, so I can
extend this invitation to members reading the magazine in advance of
October when assignments need to be completed. Check out the list of
committees and think about where your skills might be best utilized for
the association. You will be guaranteed great committee members to
share the work. Use the contact information in the back of the magazine
to let me or your Circuit Representative know how you want to get

The idea of saying yes can sometimes seem antithetical in the world of
busy dockets and expedited transcripts. It would be much easier to
embrace the idea of a “Year of No.” I invite you to make this your year
to say yes to getting involved with USCRA and reaping the rewards
from that involvement.

Kelli Mulcahy
USCRA President