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President's Message - April 2015
by: Buck Ewing

Dear AAERT Members,

The AAERT is on the move and picking up momentum! We’ve accomplished much during the last few months, and more exciting events are just around the corner.

Flashback: April 2012, Atlanta, Georgia. AAERT exhibited at Georgia’s first “Regional Justice Technology Expo.” There were 400 attendees and 37 vendors, a good turnout for this first regional conference. We knew that Florida was fully committed to electronic reporting and learned there that Georgia would likely follow suit. In July 2014, the Judicial Council of Georgia Policies and Fees for Court Reporting invited AAERT to comment on proposed legislation which included digital reporting. We submitted a detailed letter in support of this new legislation. In March 2015, just a month ago, the Judicial Council of Georgia and AAERT reached an agreement that " obtain digital monitor licensure in Georgia, applicants must pass an electronic transcriber or electronic court reporter’s examination offered by AAERT." I can imagine that our presence at the Georgia conference coupled with our timely, detailed response helped us to reach this agreement.

We try to balance exhibiting at the large national conferences with the smaller state or regional conferences. On April 7, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio, AAERT exhibited at the 12th Annual Ohio Judicial and Court Technology Conference. There were 150 attendees and 45 vendors. On a first-come, first-serve basis, 24 vendors were allotted time to present their organizations to the attendees. Geoffrey Hunt and Tonie Wallace represented AAERT. Tonie gave a 30-minute presentation about our mission and services and the features and benefits of digital reporting. Even though this conference was small, at least one seed can take root, grow, bud, and flourish.

For firm owners, on March 13-14, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia, AAERT held its second Executive Forum. Its goal is to increase understanding, collegiality, cooperation, and capability.

Fraser Wyatt of For the Record, Betsy Ertel of SpeedType, and Erik Lige of TheRecordXchange presented their exciting software products. Jeffrey Newman of Newman Sage Consulting and Gregg Poss, Senior Associate Director in the DC Courts, discussed “What the Courts Want from E-Reporters.” Tim Atkinson of Free State Reporting and Lisa Dees of Digital Reporting Services Connected presented “Latest E-Reporting Equipment and Services,” Attorney Alexander Hughes presented “Independent Contractors versus Employee Status,” Tonie Wallace of Court Reporting Consultants presented “Building Your Company,” and I presented an “Update on the Industry.” At the conclusion, owners and executives congregated to network in a separate location for refreshments, which was sponsored by For the Record.

The survey indicated that attendees were satisfied. In future meetings of the Executive Forum, they would like to discuss specific business issues and see demonstrations of best practices around hardware, software, processes, procedures, and collaboration. They also indicated that they would like a full two days for the forum.

For all of us—transcribers, reporters, proofreaders, managers, owners—please remember to register for the AAERT Annual Conference June 25-27, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s just around the corner. Make your plans early. The conference promises to be a rich experience of great educational sessions, the opportunity to learn what’s happening in our industry, and the chance to meet old and new colleagues.

I look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis.

With Best Regards,

Buck Ewing

President, AAERT



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