First Society of Reporters in America
Welcome to the web page designed to introduce you to this association and the many reasons it is important – to you, to the public, to the court reporting profession. You will also come to understand why this association is unique among others and learn of the many benefits it has achieved for its members. Let’s begin by describing the purpose of our organization.
PURPOSE OF THE ASSOCIATION
Our mission is pure. The New York State Court Reporters Association was organized for the purpose of maintaining standards of excellence in court reporting, promoting the general welfare of court reporters, fostering high professional standards, and promoting a spirit of mutual assistance between the profession of court reporting, the courts, and members of the bar.
Stated broadly, the NYS Court Reporters Association informs, alerts, educates, and advocates for the reporting community throughout New York State. It also fosters and promotes professional ideals. Judicial-related reporters, students, captioners, and CART providers are welcomed and supported.
NYSCRA – WORKING FOR ALL COURT REPORTERS
This association is focused on improving conditions and advocating for all court reporters in New York State.
· It is vigilant about finding and opposing threats to court reporting jobs. [Advocacy]
· It provides opportunities to enrich your career by giving you knowledge/skills to become a more valuable court reporter. [Events and Exams]
· It encourages and supports our students – perpetuating the longevity of our profession.
· It promotes and represents our profession to the public.
· It provides opportunities for networking and camaraderie. [Events]
· And it salutes those deserving of recognition.
· Member discounts are available on many business and lifestyle items reporters are likely to purchase.
Lawyers have Bar Associations. Other professionals have theirs. In New York State, we have the New York State Court Reporters Association. This organization is all about one person - You! Our volunteers work hard – for You!
WHY JOIN THE ASSOCIATION
Banding with those engaged in similar activity has long been acknowledged as important to professional survival and success. Throughout the world, associations instruct, defend, predict, alert, and explain. They help turn technicians into professionals. They are where we share experiences and increase in professional knowledge. And their professional examinations provide the opportunity to objectively demonstrate our competence. Their conventions and other gatherings are to network and compete for the title of “best.” And, yes, they also provide camaraderie.
Supporting our important work helps each reporter prosper, and perpetuates our profession. Cost is minimal. Rewards are great.
OTHER REPORTING ASSOCIATIONS
Reporters are encouraged to belong to at least one national reporting organization (NCRA/USCRA) plus their state association. The resources and interests of a national group provide products and professional viewpoints typically unavailable locally. A state association provides alerts to local employment and examinations, and pinpoints concerns and trends specific to the reporter’s state.
National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) assists all stenographic court reporters across America.
United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) supports reporters who work in the federal court system.
INTERSTENO, and specifically its Parliamentary and Other Reporters Section, is an international society with representatives from many countries.
Incorporated Phonographic Society of London, the world’s first shorthand organization, perpetuates and supports the system created in 1840 by the genius of Isaac Pitman.
Legislative Activity for NYS Reporters
Court reporters employed in the New York State court system comprise a large body of the reporting population in New York State. What happens to them often affects other areas of reporting statewide. Thus, NYSCRA has a very active legislative committee that works in tandem with the very effective Association of Surrogates and Supreme Court Reporters, as well as other unions across the state. Here are some of our recent on your behalf.
There was a lot accomplished, and some setbacks, in 2014. Our legislative chair, Myron Calderon, working alongside Brian DiGiovanna, of the Association of Surrogates and Supreme Court Reporters, together with NYSCRA officers and board members, brought about passage of Senate Bill S7168. It, unfortunately, was not reported out of the Assembly (A9753); rather, our representatives and the Office of Court Administration have been encouraged to negotiate an outcome of the intent of the bill. This did not and will not stop our advocacy.
Enormous efforts were expended in attempting to secure passage of this bill. Fortunately, other benefits were achieved through the work of our representatives. Specifically, most lower court reporters in the state who had been displaced are being reinstated. This was a direct result of meeting with state legislators.
Attorney Responsible for Stenographic Services
General Business Law 399-cc was passed as a direct result of the perseverance of NYSCRA. We heard the need of New York’s reporters for this result, and so the statute’s intent makes attorneys responsible for stenographic costs.
Originally effective November 15, 2005, as amended effective July 26, 2006, this statute provides:
“Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, when an attorney of record orders or requests either orally or in writing that a stenographic record be made of any judicial proceeding, deposition, statement or interview of a party in a proceeding or of a witness related to such proceeding, it shall be the responsibility of such attorney to pay for the services and costs of such record except where: 1. Payment is otherwise provided by law or where the attorney is providing representation through a not-for-profit provider of criminal or civil legal services; or 2. The attorney expressly disclaims responsibility for payment of the stenographic service or record in writing at the time the attorney orders or requests that the record be made.”
New York State COURT REPORTING ASSOCIATION –
MORE THAN 140 YEARS OF HISTORY
When the transplanted shorthand writers, inventors, and teachers of Europe journeyed to America, they quite naturally made their homes in the Northeast. Many of the greats settled here in New York. Here is what makes this – the New York Court Reporting Association – unique in America.
Officially Organized in 1876
Officially organized on August 18, 1876, as the New York State Law Stenographers Association, this was the first professional society of reporters in the United States. It later became the New York State Shorthand Reporters Association and is today called the New York State Court Reporters Association.
"Eight young men, proficient in shorthand, experienced in court reporting, enthusiastic in the interests of their profession” resolved that “the organization of a State association should be made,” and on that date “perfected a permanent organization, adopted a constitution, elected a staff of officers and chose the name....”
Those eight charter members were: Charles G. Tinsley (Cazenovia, NY), William O. Wyckoff (Lansing, NY), Theodore C. Rose (Elmira, NY), William W. Osgoodby (Rochester, NY), Worden E. Payne (Oswego County, NY), Lindsley Woodword (Syracuse, NY), Spencer C. Rodgers (Troy, NY), and Fred J. Morgan (Syracuse, NY).
Early Reporting Associations
Six days earlier, on August 12, 1876, the Iowa Shorthand Association was founded. However, “This association lapsed after a few years of existence,” reports historian Fannie Smith. In fact, its very first convention was not held until 1914. This makes NYSCRA at least the oldest continuous reporting association in the United States. But there is more.
The next shorthand group to organize was the Pennsylvania Stenographic Association, in 1877. The National Court Reporters Association began in 1899. But England – the birthplace of English-language shorthand – is still home to the world’s first shorthand association: The Incorporated Phonographic Society of London.
NYSCRA Born Three Years Earlier
1876 is the year officially used to indicate when NYSCRA began. But shorthand historian Dominick Tursi has unearthed substantial evidence that NYSCRA was actually born on or before April 26, 1873, three years earlier than the “official” date! Here are his 2007 findings.
The lead article in the February 1907 edition of The Shorthand Writer is entitled “The Pioneer Reporters’ Association.” It contains the subheading, “Speeches Made at the First Annual Dinner of the First Law Stenographers’ Association in the United States.” The Shorthand Writer was a highly-respected publication of its day. In fact, the first official NCRA magazine was published within the October 1910 edition of The Shorthand Writer.
The Pioneer article contained this amazing language: “The editors are indebted to Mr. Spencer C. Rodgers, official reporter of the Supreme Court, Albany, NY, for the following proceedings.” (Yes, the same Rodgers who three years later became one of the eight charter members.)
Mr. Rodgers recounts that on “April 26, 1873, the first annual dinner of the association was held at Delmonico’s” Italian restaurant in New York City. “Addresses were made by President Munson, who began reporting in New York City in 1857, at a time when the shorthand reporter was not known to the courts of this country¼”
The evening’s dinner toast was assigned to Luther R. Marsh, Esq., who, addressing President Munson, declared: “Sir, I presume this to be the first society formed, and this the first dinner given as such by the Order of Stenographers.”
First “Birth” President – James E. Munson
And so it was that this association indeed had a first annual dinner and a first president in April 1873. And who was this President James E. Munson? He was a New York working reporter in 1857 – some eight years before the first reporter had ever set foot in a US courtroom. And Mr. Munson was a system inventor. In fact, his shorthand system (an adaptation of Pitman’s) was used by the great Nathan Behrin to win the 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1922 speed contests – with a high speed of 280 wpm!
And so, on April 26, 1873, the New York State Court Reporters Association was born – years before any other in America and second only to IPS of London.
Those who accept the presidency of a reporting association are indeed a unique lot. Dedicated, passionate, and selfless, they guide the professional future of hundreds of their colleagues, often against great odds, usually at some loss of transcript income, always with personal sacrifice. These volunteer leaders often are called upon to make decisions which affect the future of not only their constituents, but many colleagues.
NYSCRA Past Presidents
Here is a list of NYSCRA’s Presidents from 1876 to date.
NYSCRA Officers & Directors
HONORING DISTINGUISHED NEW YORK REPORTERS
NYSCRA Louis Goldstein Memorial Award
The Distinguished Service Award of this association is named for one of the giants of New York Reporting: Louis Goldstein. The Bylaws of NYSCRA provides: “The Louis Goldstein Memorial Award is established to honor distinguished members of the profession.” This award is not given on a regular basis.
NYSCRA Hall of Fame
The Bylaws of NYSCRA states: “The Hall of Fame Award is established to honor (1) reporters who have made significant contributions to the court reporting profession; (2) teachers and educators who have been outstanding in the training, encouragement, and support of court reporters and the profession; and (3) members of the bar and bench who have demonstrated their interest in the maintenance of the court reporting profession.” This award is not given on a regular basis.
This website contains comprehensive resource center – arranged by type, by name, by vendor – of products/services for the working professional. [The Mall]
Many purchase discounts are available to members.
STUDENT MEMBER BENEFITS
Many student resources are available in other areas of this website. Scholarships and membership discounts are also available. [Students]
NYSCRA is keenly aware of the high cost of living in the State of New York. Notwithstanding this, our membership dues are among the lowest in the country. We are always looking for member discounts on business and lifestyle purchases that court reporters are likely to need.
Current Member Discounts
Discounts have been obtained for our members with the following vendors. Please follow the respective links for more information and to make purchases.
>Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance
Members receive exclusive savings on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance
Members can save 15% to 25% annually on office supplies, and up to 70% on copying and printing
Members can save 25% off WinnerXP Software and/or 15% off an Impression Writer
Members can save 25% off the set-up fee for RepAgencyWorks' Court Reporting Management Software
Members can save 20% off PDF-it subscription service
>Ultimate Class Limousine
Members receive a 15% discount on limo services