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  • February 06, 2018 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    To our membership:

    We have begun the process of gearing up our effort to modernize the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure in the attempt to have them recognize the intrinsic value of the reporter to the judicial process and afford some level of protection for the court reporter. To that end, we have met with TEXDRA’s attorneys and laid out our goals, and they have begun the process of crafting language to accomplish those goals. These are very ambitious goals and will certainly be met with significant resistance from some quarters. This endeavor will require both the moral and financial support of the membership and will be very difficult and expensive with no guarantee of success. However, a very smart man recently reminded me that you lose 100% of the battles that you do not fight. We have promised you that we will take on this struggle, and you have made it clear that is what you want. We thank you for your confidence and support. We will provide updates of the process as it develops.

    David Ross, President, TEXDRA

  • January 21, 2018 10:11 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings: It has been a while since our last update. We have been patiently awaiting some action by the Supreme Court. As you know, the JBCC has forwarded to the Supreme Court their recommendations for the Court Reporters’ Code of Ethics. We had expected a fairly quick decision from the Supreme Court; however, as is evident, that did not occur. The new ethics rules have been on the Supreme Court’s agenda on three separate occasions. For a variety of reasons, our particular item was not taken up. The good news is that the matter is on the agenda for Tuesday, January 23. Hopefully, the Court will provide us a positive outcome at that time. The moment we learn anything, we will notify you. Much of TEXDRA’s actions moving forward will be determined by what the Supreme Court ultimately decides regarding the ethics proposal. Consequently, in consult with our attorney, we have made a strategic decision to hold off on any efforts to modernize the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure until after the Supreme Court has acted on the ethics rules. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

  • October 05, 2017 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    My name is David Ross. I assumed the mantle of President of TEXDRA on September 1. Please accept my apology that it has taken me this long to formally introduce myself. As one of the thousands of Harvey’s flood victims, I have had to dedicate much of my time to our recovery.

    Let me say first that I am humbled to serve in this position, and I would be less than truthful if I didn’t admit that I am a little intimidated. It is an awesome responsibility, and our previous president has set the bar very high. I will endeavor, though, to ensure the standards set by our past president are maintained.

    First, allow me to give you a little personal history. I served four years in the United States Army, from 1967 to 1971. Upon my discharge from the military, I enrolled in McMahon College of Court Reporting and began my career in 1973. I then joined a small firm in New Orleans before moving to Miami. I returned home to Houston in 1975, working for a couple of firms before striking out on my own in 1980 when I formed Ross Reporting Services, which I operated until my retirement in 2014.

    My retirement, however, was short lived. I was invited to join a group of reporters who were committed to addressing the many problems facing court reporting, focusing their attention on freelance issues. Out of this group, TEXDRA was formed. Although I had heard some of the names, I met many of these people for the first time when I joined the group. I quickly realized this was not an ordinary group of reporters. I had joined a group of reporters that were highly intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced and single-mindedly committed to improving conditions for freelance reporters.

    While it may appear that things have been somewhat quiet since the JBCC voted to recommend the elimination of the one-third rule, I can assure you that TEXDRA’s board has been very busy. As we await the decision of the Court on the JBCC’s recommendation, your board has begun working diligently on a series of issues we believe are important to the freelance community, and we will roll those out as the planning matures.

    TEXDRA is an organization formed and dedicated for the purpose of addressing the issues important to freelance court reporters. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank you for placing your confidence in TEXDRA. We will continue to work hard to earn your continued trust.

    Thank you. I look forward to representing you and TEXDRA the next two years.


    David Ross


  • August 29, 2017 3:54 PM | Anonymous

    Many of us have been devastated by the flooding in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey. TEXDRA has established a committee to facilitate aid to our fellow reporters in need, regardless of affiliation or practice. This assistance will be "behind the scenes," and you may remain anonymous if you wish. We are not asking for money but will gratefully accept gift cards. If you have any equipment that you can spare to help, please email us; you can download a donations checklist here. If you have suffered a loss and need help, please email us; download a recipient checklist here.

    TCRA has set up a GoFundMe to assist reporters in need - please click here to donate now. Let's all work together to help our colleagues affected by this terrible disaster.

    Text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross.

    Text UWFlood to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief effort.

    Download a Red Cross volunteer form here to assist with local relief efforts.

    Tips on Next Steps if You've Been Affected in the Disaster: Download Here

    Click here for an article with more resources.

    Please continue to keep all of those affected in your thoughts and prayers, and reach out to TEXDRA by emailing help@texdra.org if there is anything we can do for you or if you have more ideas on how we can help.

  • August 07, 2017 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    Friday, August 4, 2017, the JBCC cast two important votes involving freelance court reporters.  In the first vote, the Commissioners voted 5-2 to accept and forward to the Texas Supreme Court the revised Code of Ethics for Certified Shorthand Reporters and Court Reporting Firms which was proposed by the Court Reporters Certification Advisory Board; this proposed Code does not contain the 1/3 rule (nor any rule to replace it).  The second vote was upon a motion to recommend the elimination of JBCC Enforcement Rule 6.5(a)(8)(m), which passed 4-3.  While we do not yet know when the Supreme Court will take action on these matters, TEXDRA will keep our members advised with updates as soon as we learn them.

    TEXDRA now looks forward to focusing our work on other significant obstacles that affect all freelance reporters in Texas.  TEXDRA will lead the effort to reform our rules and protect our work product and our livelihoods with unparalleled dedication, commitment, transparency, and hard work.  We are eager to work with our members and the entire freelance community to accomplish these goals.  Please spread the word and encourage your friends and colleagues to join TEXDRA.

  • July 28, 2017 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Thursday, July 27, Alvin Community College's Board of Regents met to decide the fate of ACC's renowned court reporting program.  TEXDRA's president spoke at that meeting in an attempt to present a business scenario to the board that would convince them to keep the program open by increasing enrollment and graduation rates.  The proposal we put forth was that they consider incorporating voice training alongside the present stenographic training, giving current and prospective students more options and increasing revenues by attracting more students to the program.  Unfortunately, the suggestion was not enough to convince them, and they have voted to close the program down, using a "teach-out" time frame of two years.  Our profession is losing yet another school, which is bad enough, but to lose one of Alvin's standing in the court reporting community nationwide is disastrous.  It is time for new ideas and new strategies; our profession's continued existence depends on it!  It is time to define ourselves and our profession by our TALENTS, not by the tools we use.  We are a crucial and integral part of the judicial system and we cannot fail.  Let's put our heads together, roll up our sleeves, and get to work!  We are 100% committed to addressing this critical issue.  Please continue to watch this site and our Facebook group for updates.

  • June 12, 2017 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    The public comment period regarding the proposed Code of Ethics for Certified Shorthand Reporters and Court Reporting Firms is now closed. The JBCC will consider the Code of Ethics as an action item at its next meeting, currently scheduled for August 4, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Austin. The Advisory Board may meet before that date to review and consider the public comments received, and, if so, TEXDRA representatives will be there. TEXDRA's attorney, Justice Craig Enoch, submitted our official public comment to the JBCC on June 6, which you can find under Recommended Reading on our home page. Please continue to watch this site and our Facebook group for updates.

  • June 05, 2017 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    On Friday, June 2, Mike Clepper, TEXDRA Founding Member and Director, our dear friend and colleague, passed away. We are heartbroken but honored to have known and worked with Mike, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, coworkers, friends, and loved ones. Mike was a wonderful man who loved his family and impacted so many in our profession, not only in the state of Texas but around the nation. Mike was dedicated to working for freelance reporters and making a difference in the freelance world, and we will honor his memory by continuing his work in that regard. Please click here for Mike's obituary.  Donations may be made to the Michael Clepper Memorial Scholarship at Alvin Community College or to the American Cancer Society.

  • April 20, 2017 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    Tomorrow, Friday, April 21, is an important meeting in Austin. I want our members to know that TEXDRA will be there, representing our membership, and we will re-urge the adoption of our common-sense ethical proposal for the Texas Code of Professional Conduct "Fees" Section, which our counsel first submitted on May 10, 2016, which you can find under Recommended Reading on the home page. Passions are running very high right now. I am very proud of the way our association members and leadership have conducted themselves through this arduous process, and I want to remind our members that it is to the benefit of all Texas court reporters for us to continue to conduct ourselves with dignity and professionalism and respect for everyone, especially those with whom we disagree.

    Having said that, I think it's important for our members to know that TEXDRA is very concerned that there will be a decision tomorrow that ultimately removes the rule in its entirety because there has been such tremendous discord among Texas reporters on this issue; I addressed this concern specifically in "What is the Deal with the 1/3 Rule" on 9/11/16 (see Recommended Reading on the home page). TEXDRA has tried repeatedly to reach middle ground but has regrettably been unable to do so, and TCRA is not willing to budge on their stance of keeping the 1/3 Rule intact despite instruction from the Advisory Board to the contrary at its April 1, 2016 meeting (also available under Recommended Reading). I want to reassure our members that we are standing firm in our commitment to KEEP THE RULE in our Code of Professional Conduct but AMEND the rule so that it is truly fair to all, prevents the "doomsday one-cent original" scenario, and puts our Texas freelance court reporters and court reporting firms on a parity with our counterparts in the other 49 states. We are committed, we are strong, we are determined, and we will not waver in our promises to our membership.

    Thank you for your attention and for supporting your profession, and we will keep everyone updated. It is an honor to represent you. With sincere gratitude, Susan Perry Miller, TEXDRA President

  • April 19, 2017 10:08 PM | Anonymous

    Big thanks to TCRA for the Way Back Wednesday history lesson this week.  For FUN FACT FRIDAY, let's also take a trip back in time and reminisce with some fun facts.  Here are some things that didn't even EXIST in 2002:  MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, the Kindle, the iPhone, Hulu, Uber... and in 2002, the minimum wage was $5.15!  

    In other news, it's 2017.  The minimum wage now is $7.25 - up 40.77% from 2002.  The cost of living in the U.S. has risen 35.75% since 2002.  In the freelance reporting world, has your business changed in the last 15 years?  TEXDRA is listening.  Join now!

    Meanwhile... the next Court Reporters Certification Advisory Board meeting is Friday, April 21, at the Tom C. Clark Building, 205 W. 14th Street, First Floor Conference Room, Austin, Texas 78701, at 1:00 p.m.  TEXDRA has proposed an amendment to Section 17, "Fees," of our Code of Professional Conduct; click here to read TEXDRA's proposal. At this next meeting, the Advisory Board will consider the proposed revisions to the COPC that have been presented by the committee tasked with its review, which has taken place over the last year and a half.  The COPC committee has proposed increasing the 1/3 contained in the present rule to 75%.  Continue to watch this website and also our Facebook page for updates.  Happy Easter!

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