Cyndi Tumlin, CCR, RPR
President Alabama Court Reporters Association
Can you believe it is literally 2020 – I mean, really? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we thought the world was going to end with Y2K? I so wanted Barbara Walters to say, “This is 20/20” when the ball dropped in Times Square this New Years.
They say Hindsight is 20/20 – our vision is optimum at 20/20 – 2020 is going to be an optimum year for court reporting. We’ve learned from the past, and we are preparing for the future. We are arming ourselves with the most and best information available, and we are all joining forces to combat the issues that threaten our livelihood every day.
Conference 2020 is in the books. I hope everyone enjoyed it. I appreciate all our speakers, sponsors, and especially the board for helping and working to make this year’s conference a great success. We had a wonderful turnout. I hope everyone was able to come away with something of value. I always enjoy conference – getting to see folks I haven’t seen in a while, meeting new folks, and learning new ways to be a better court reporter. There’s always something about the atmosphere at the annual conference that is energizing and uplifting.
One group I’d like to specially call attention to are the Student Sponsors who supported our students in attending the 2020 conference. We had 31 students at conference – fantastic!!! Sabrina Lewis and the Sciré Twins did a fantastic job for the student session. The students were overjoyed and couldn’t say enough great things about the session. We are truly blessed to still have a brick and mortar school in Alabama that cares and works so diligently with our students. Each of those students represents our future in court reporting. Thank you to the Student Sponsors, Instructors at Gadsden State, and the Speakers at Conference for their dedication to keeping court reporting alive in Alabama!
Speaking of “hindsight,” Alabama court reporters worked diligently for many years to get certification passed to protect Alabama court reporters. After attending the last few NCSA meetings at the NCRA National Convention, I have seen just how fortunate Alabama is in being a licensure state. There are more states in trouble and having serious issues than there are not. Our licensure is helping Alabama court reporters combat digitals. Our licensure is keeping a standard of professionalism and ethics in place that is helping us maintain our jobs as we know them. It is up to us to be vigilant in signing a complaint and reporting any activity we are aware of within Alabama. It is up to us to step out on a limb and take hold of our future and say, “No. Not in Alabama!” Our law cannot be enforced if we turn our heads and allow activities to go on in our state that should be stopped.
Alan Peacock did an excellent job, as always, giving us details on the Protect Your Record Project. I encourage everyone who hasn’t to go to the Facebook page, make a donation, and get involved. Now is the time to take our profession back and make a difference. Alabama law is only as good as the ones upholding it – it’s only as good as its enforcement. Inform and educate your attorneys. Be aware and watch for transcripts coming into your courtrooms. This is not a one-man job; this is All Hands On Deck!! Be prepared, know your topic, wear your lanyard, display your materials – be an advocate for your profession. If you won’t, who will??
Together we can make a positive impact on court reporting across this nation by standing strong and holding our ground. What a wonderful time to call yourself a Stenographer!