NCRA Takes Association of Court Administrators to Task for White Paper That Recommends a Reckless Approach to Making the Court Record, Which Will Endanger the Integrity of the Legal System

Jan 25, 2010, 16:05 ET from National Court Reporters Association

VIENNA, Va., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter to Steven C. Hollon, president of the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), NCRA President SueLynn Morgan, RPR, today criticized COSCA for the process it used in the development of a white paper that suggests court systems move to audio recording as the principal form of the court record. Morgan said it is troubling that COSCA not only neglected to involve stenographic court reporters in their discussions, but also "other groups representing judges, jurists, attorneys, parties, or the public in their process, groups whose perspectives and knowledge as the primary users of the court record must be part of any serious discussion on the topic."

"We do not claim to have a monopoly on all wisdom related to making the court record," said Morgan in the letter, "but it simply is inconceivable that COSCA would consider our experiences, data, research, and perspectives to be entirely irrelevant in an intellectually honest discussion of a subject on which court reporters indisputably are subject matter experts."

While NCRA takes exception to the closed process that COSCA employed in development of its white paper, it is nothing compared with the poor quality of the paper, which was the result of that closed process.  "Such an opaque, insular, and exclusive process predictably led to seriously flawed conclusions," said Morgan. "Even more serious than the shortcomings of the conclusions of the paper itself is the complete absence of empirical data or any sort of corroborating evidence to support those conclusions. Statements of opinion are given an illusion of factual basis through liberal use of citations to studies commissioned by other organizations -- including by NCRA and the National Court Reporters Foundation -- where the specific findings of those studies do nothing to support the paper's stated theses."

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SOURCE National Court Reporters Association