ARTICLE I - Title
The name of this organization shall be the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association, Inc.
ARTICLE II - Purposes
1. To provide an organization of verbatim stenographic reporters, including captioners and CART providers (Communication Access Realtime Translation), in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
2. To assume responsibility for leadership of the reporting profession and education of the users of verbatim reporting services and the general public regarding the special skills required, the importance, and the value of the court reporting system.
3. To promote a broader understanding and acceptance of the qualified court reporter as indispensable to judicial, administrative, and legislative processes.
4. To program, foster and establish statues and rules, directly or indirectly affecting the profession, as may be of help and assistance to reporters, members of the bench and bar, and as the same may promulgate efficiency and justice in all courts.
5. To conduct educational seminars and conferences.
6. To render assistance to all reporters in the perpetual improvement of their reporting skills.
7. To disseminate, by all appropriate means, accurate information with respect to the court reporting profession and system.
8. To maintain a proper standard of ethics, efficiency and compensation.
9. To stimulate and encourage the adoption of adequate training and educational programs for personnel in the field of court reporting.
10. To work cooperatively with agencies of government for the benefit of the court reporting profession and the public including, but not limited to, lobbying.
11. To secure for the members of the court reporting profession the benefits resulting from organized effort.
12. To do any and all things that are lawful and appropriate in the furtherance of these purposes.
ARTICLE III - Membership
Membership in this Association shall be open to individuals who subscribe to and support the purposes of the association and/or who are skilled in the art of stenographic reporting of proceedings and as hereinafter provided.
Section 1. Professional Membership
Only persons skilled in the art of verbatim reporting of proceedings by the use of stenographic means shall be eligible to apply for professional membership in the Association as hereinafter provided:
(a) Any person who is an official court or legislative reporter;
(b) Any person who is engaged in the active practice of judicial reporting or general reporting, including captioning and/or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
(c) Any person who successfully passes the Certified Shorthand Reporter examination or otherwise qualifies for certification as a Certified Shorthand Reporter as provided elsewhere in these Bylaws.
Section 2. Associate Membership
Any person interested in the preservation, support and advancement of the field of court reporting and who subscribes to and supports the purposes of the Association and the profession, but is not in any way actively engaged in court reporting, captioning or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), who is not otherwise eligible for membership and desires to become a member of this Association.
Section 3. Student Membership
Any student who is enrolled in a business school, college or online program conducting a shorthand reporting course, or whose application for student membership is endorsed by a professional or associate member attesting to the fact that said applicant is a student of shorthand reporting, is eligible for student membership in this Association.
Section 4. Honorary-Retired Membership
Any Professional or Associate Member of this Association who has been a member in good standing for fifteen years, upon retiring from the active practice of shorthand reporting, may become, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, an Honorary-Retired Member of this Association.
Section 5. Out-of-State Membership
Any person qualifying for Professional Membership but residing outside of Massachusetts may become an Associate Member of this Association.
Section 6. Privileges
Only Professional Members and Honorary-Retired Members who have been court reporters shall be eligible to vote and eligible to hold an elective office. Associate and Student Members of this Association shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of Professional Membership except the right to vote, the right to hold office, and the right to hold a Certificate of Registration as a Certified Shorthand Reporter.
Failure to maintain membership will result in the loss of the Certified Shorthand Reporter title.
Section 7. Acceptance
The Executive Board shall pass upon the eligibility of all applications for membership.
Section 8. Termination
Membership in the Association may be terminated for cause only after the member has had an opportunity to be heard in answer to charges before an Ethics Committee appointed by the President. A two-thirds vote of the Executive Board shall be required to terminate membership except for nonpayment of dues.
ARTICLE IV - Officers and Duties
Section 1. Composition
The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall be elected by the members at an annual meeting and hold office until the next annual meeting, and whose duties shall be as set forth herein.
Section 2. Duties of Officers
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board, and shall have general supervision over the affairs of the Association, subject to the approval of the Board. He/she shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of his/her official duties, including such reimbursement as may be fixed by the Board for his/her attendance at the annual convention of the National Court Reporters Association.
The duties of the President-Elect shall be to perform and discharge such duties as are assigned to him by the President, and to perform all the duties of the President during the latter's absence or disability and shall succeed to the office of President in the event of withdrawal or resignation of the President for any reason.
The duties of the Vice-President shall be to perform and discharge such duties as are assigned to him by the President or President-Elect, and to perform all the duties of the President-Elect during the latter's absence or disability and shall succeed to the office of President-Elect in the event of withdrawal or resignation of the President for any reason.
The duties of the office of Secretary shall be to keep minutes of the meetings of the Association, to compile and maintain a current membership list, to compile a list of the members in attendance at the annual meeting, to provide all members a list of the officers elected and standing committee members appointed for the ensuing year, to keep a perpetual register of all elective officers of the Association, and to provide all members with annual reports of officers and committees.
The duties of the office of Treasurer shall be to receive all the monies from any source paid into the Association, and to pay all bills allowed and approved by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall, at the close of each fiscal year, submit a report of the finances of the Association and the books of the Association to a Certified Public Accountant for preparation in compliance with state and federal tax, and reporting requirements.
ARTICLE V - Executive Board
Section 1. Composition
The Executive Board of the Association shall be composed of the President, President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, the immediate Past President and four to six directors from the membership at large. At each annual meeting two or three directors shall be elected to the Board for a two-year term. If an Executive Director is appointed, he shall become an ex-officio member of the Board without voting rights.
Section 2. Powers
The Executive Board shall have full power to act upon all matters of business requiring attention during the intervals between meetings, including the approval or rejection of any application for membership, approval of bills, approval of the appointment of the Executive Staff and the salary thereof, and approval of the Association's annual budget. It shall fix the place and time of the annual meeting and approve other meetings of the general membership and notice shall be given to all members of the Association of the time and place so fixed and determined upon by the Board at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.
Section 3. Meetings
The Executive Board shall, at its pleasure, commission the President and/or another delegate to attend the annual convention of the National Court Reporters Association. Said delegates shall receive from the funds of the Association a sum of money in an amount to be set by the Executive Board to defray expenses.
ARTICLE VI - Executive Staff
Section 1. Executive Director
If an Executive Director is appointed, his responsibility shall be to perform such duties as may be assigned to him by the Executive Board, including but not limited to administrative, financial and publishing responsibilities. The Executive Director shall attend meetings of the Executive Board, as well as the general membership meetings, and may take part in discussion, but shall have no voting rights. The Executive Board in their discretion may from time to time deliberate and/or vote in executive session. The Executive Director may make recommendations to the board based upon his activities on behalf of the Association.
Section 2. Executive Staff
If no Executive Director is appointed, other executive staff may be employed to undertake such duties, responsibilities and authority as may be delegated by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VII - Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees
All Standing Committee members shall be composed of members of the Association and shall be appointed by the President. In addition to the duties listed below, each committee shall present annually a written report to be published in the Summer issue of the Bay State Reporter. Chairmen shall be appointed by the President from within each committee. Each Chairman shall submit budget requests to the Treasurer by February 15. Each committee shall preserve minutes of its meetings. The plans and goals of each committee shall be submitted to the Executive Board for its March meeting.
(a) Nominations There shall be a Committee on Nominations. For the purpose of expediting the business of the annual meeting, it shall be the duty of this Committee to nominate officers and members of the Executive Board for the action of the membership at the annual meeting. The Committee shall invite to appear before it all members who wish to express their views as to those best qualified for the various offices. The President shall also call for nominations from the floor prior to the election of officers and members of the Executive Board.
(b) Bylaws There shall be a Committee on Bylaws. One such member shall be a Past President of this Association. It shall be the duty of this committee to conduct a continuing review of the Bylaws of the Association and to propose such amendments as, in its judgment, are deemed necessary to coordinate and simplify the Bylaws and to eliminate conflicting and impracticable provisions therein.
(c) Legislation There shall be a Committee on Legislation. It shall be the duty of this Committee to see that members are informed from time to time of matters involving legislation that is under consideration by the Legislature, directly or indirectly affecting shorthand reporters or other matters. Where requested, it shall directly assist in the passage of legislation pertaining to the position of shorthand reporter and perform all such other duties and acts pertaining to such Committee.
(d) Certification There shall be a Committee on Certification. The Chairperson of this Committee shall have been actively and principally engaged as a professional shorthand reporter within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a period of not less than five (5) years, and shall be a Certified Shorthand Reporter.
The Committee shall issue Certificates of Registration to each general member of the Association who has satisfactorily passed the Certified Shorthand Reporter examination. The Committee shall conduct such examinations annually and at such other times and places as it may deem necessary. The Committee shall require proof that the applicant has the knowledge, practical experience and competence necessary to act as a shorthand reporter and shall require a practical demonstration of the applicant's skill. All applicants for registration shall be given at least thirty (30) days' notice of the examination to be conducted by this Committee.
The examination for certification shall consist of testing the reporting ability and general knowledge of the applicant pursuant to the following standards:
Literary: 170 words per minute
Jury Charge: 190 words per minute
Testimony: 210 words per minute
Dictation shall be for five minutes in each section, and a grade of 95% as to each section shall be passing.
The applicant shall transcribe each section immediately following the dictation. Speed and accuracy in transcribing notes will be the basis of the test, as well as correct spelling. Errors shall be defined using the guidelines established by the National Court Reporters Association for its Registered Professional Reporter examination.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing subsections, any general member of the Association in good standing who files an application for a Certificate of Registration with the Committee and who furnishes written proof to the Committee that he has successfully passed the Registered Professional Reporter examination administered by the National Court Reporters Association and who pays the appropriate fee shall, without further examination, be granted and issued such Certificate by this Committee.
The fee schedule will be set by the Committee on Certification with the approval of the Executive Board.
All fees and charges as provided above shall be collected by the Committee and delivered to the Treasurer of the Association for payment into the Association.
Every Certified Shorthand Reporter who continues in the active practice of shorthand reporting and continues to be a member of the Association in good standing shall retain his registration. A certificate expiring under this section shall only be reinstated upon application to this Committee and upon good cause shown.
Any nonmember or student member of MCRA who successfully passes the Certified Shorthand Reporter examination must become a professional member in order for his certificate to be in effect. Applications for professional membership must be submitted to the Association within 60 days after the date of examination.
Certified Shorthand Reporters shall be issued a registration number with each certificate. Registration numbers shall be used on title pages, certification pages and all correspondence with the Association.
Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VIII - Dues
Section 1. Annual Dues
The annual dues for each class of membership in this Association shall be set by the Executive Board and approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting. Such annual dues shall become due and payable on the first day of the fiscal year.
Section 2. Delinquent Dues
Any member who has not paid his dues within sixty (60) days of July 1 shall automatically lose membership privileges. If the delinquent member makes payment of the current year's dues during the remainder of the fiscal year, then membership privileges shall be automatically restored. If a member remains delinquent beyond the fiscal year in which dues were unpaid, then membership may be regained only through the initial application process.
Failure to maintain membership will result in the loss of the Certified Shorthand Reporter title.
Section 3. New Applicants
New applicants accepted by the Board during the four months preceding the end of the membership year shall pay the full current dues. Such dues shall constitute full payment of the next year's membership dues.
ARTICLE IX - Elections
All officers and members of the Executive Board shall be elected by a majority vote of those present and entitled to vote at the annual meeting.
ARTICLE X - General Membership Meetings
Section 1. Annual
The annual meeting of the Association shall be held at such time and place as the Board of Directors shall determine.
Section 2. Other
Additional meetings shall be held at the call of the President or of a majority of the Executive Board.
Section 3. Notice
Notice of any meeting shall be given to the membership in writing not less than ten (10) days prior thereto, setting forth the date, time, place and agenda for such meeting.
Section 4. Quorum
Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any business meeting.
ARTICLE XI - Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting unless otherwise required by law. All proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Secretary not less than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which the said amendments are to be acted upon and notice of such proposed amendments shall be given to the membership in writing no less than ten (10) days prior to the meeting the amendments are to be acted upon.
ARTICLE XII - Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern all Executive Board and general membership meetings of this Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.
ARTICLE XIII - Personal Liability
The members, directors and officers of the Association shall not be personally liable for any debt, liability or obligation of the Association. All persons, corporations or other entities extending credit to, contracting with, or having any claims against the Association may look only to the funds and property of the Association for the payment of any such contract or claim, or for the payment of any debt, damages, judgment or decree, or of any money that may otherwise become due or payable to them from the Association.
ARTICLE XIV - Miscellaneous
Section 1. Official Address
The offices of the Association shall be maintained at such address as the Executive Board may determine.
Section 2. Wording
Wherever the word "he" or "him" appears in any Article of these Bylaws, it shall be construed as meaning "he" or "she" and "him" or "her."
ARTICLE XV - Dissolution
The Association shall use its funds only to accomplish the objectives and purposes specified in these Bylaws and no part of said funds shall inure, or be distributed, to the members of the Association. On dissolution of the Association, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified 501 (c) (3) charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations to be selected by the Board of Directors.
Update May 2012.