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We are a licensed provider of Shorthand Reporter Continuing Education in the State of Illinois through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.  

Application for CE points has been made to NCRA. We anticipate the seminar will be awarded .6 CEUs.

Application for CE hours has been made to the Department of Professional Regulation. The seminar will be awarded six (6) hours of continuing education credit pursuant to the CSR license renewal requirements established by the Department. While CRS employees are granted a waiver from the Department of Professional Regulation's continuing education requirements, Court Reporting Services, as a provider of continuing education, is required by law to track the hours earned by all attendees.





8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Registration and continental breakfast


9:00 a.m.

Pretrial Fairness Act (SAFE-T Act)

This session will educate attendees on the implementation of The Pretrial Fairness Act which will include the definition of and the passage of the Act.  Discussion will include describing the work done by the Pretrial Fairness Act Task Force in preparation for the start date. It will detail the various subcommittees used to prepare all justice system partners throughout Illinois to implement the requirements of the PFA.  The discussion will continue to describe the PFA inner workings of the trial courts, and any progress being made since the implementation, as well as pretrial release provisions of the Safe-T Act. 

Presenter:  Hon. Cara LeFevour Smith, Director of Pretrial Services


10:30 a.m.

How the Record You Make is Used on Appeal

This course will assist court reporters in seeing how their work in creating the record establishes a foundation for the resolution of issues on appeal. Law clerks, justices, and others who draft opinions will describe how they approach the record and what particular aspects they are most looking for. The Reporter of Decisions will describe how the report of proceedings is represented typographically in opinions and particular features of the record on appeal that are crucial. The clerk of a court of appeal will describe how the record is handled from a technical perspective.

Lisle Presenters:  Hon. Mary K. O’Brien, Justice, Illinois Supreme Court, Matthew Butler, Law Clerk, Illinois Supreme Court, Zachary Hooper, Clerk of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, Jacob Jost, Reporter of Decisions, Illinois Supreme Court

Springfield Presenters:  Hon. Peter Cavanagh, Justice, Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, Michelle L. Phillips, Law Clerk, Illinois Appellate Court, Cynthia Grant, Clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court, Jacob Jost, Reporter of Decisions, Illinois Supreme Court

Zoom presenters:  TBD

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Group Lunch


1:00 p.m. (choose one)


A fun and interactive session to help you learn new briefs so you can write shorter and faster!


Presenter:  Donna Urlaub, Urlaub, Bowen & Associates (Lisle and Zoom) (Springfield TBD)


You’re  a Steno Warrior!  The Key to Success Starts with Physical and Mental Well-Being

We all know the toll writing takes on a body and mind. Our skill set is about muscle memory and

being “in the zone”. Andrea will share some techniques that will help you prepare for a long day in a

sedentary position. This seminar will limber you up so you can be at the top of your game.

Presenter:  Andrea James Jent, Official Court Reporter, Second Judicial Circuit



Alleviating Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a phenomenon most court reporters are all too familiar with. From trembling fingers covered in a cold sweat to forearms that feel like lead, physical manifestations of anxiety are a real detriment to a lot of test takers. In this seminar, we will uncover the root of this anxiety and several methods to overcoming it, through exploring practice strategies and lifestyle habits in the weeks leading up to a test. 

Attendees will gain a sense of empowerment over their anxiety and become better equipped to enter a testing environment feeling confident and relaxed. 

Presenter:  Georgia Northway, RPR, CSR-IL, CCR-MO


2:30 p.m. (choose one)

Catalyst Software Training

The goal is to keep editing to a minimum   Knowing what’s available and where to find it is key to a successful translation and generation of a transcript.

Working with reporters for many years I’ve learned that there’s always something in the software that can make it easier to produce your transcript.  Tap into some simple but effective ways to include key parentheticals, examinations and other non-verbal text.   The more you can do when you write the less you do later. 


Discover the power of macros that can easily manage your Grand Jury work and other repetitive tasks.  Create multiple sections in one file and reset your page numbers in a single click or with a writing stroke.  Use another easy macro to add an appeal number to your page. Separate one case from the next and generate a hypertext list to find each case within one file.  Highlight large amounts of text using the Special Edit marks toolbar.  Come learn and share your favorite methods to minimize the workload.

Presenter:  Pam Szczecinski - Stenograph Certified NCRA Approved Training Agent


Letting Your Software Work for You - Eclipse Software

Unlock the potential of Eclipse Software with veteran court reporter Tina Hoecker in this seminar. Please bring your laptop and writer. For those of you who are not realtiming for yourselves in court, let's talk. Tina PROMISES it will change your writing for the better and make your life easier (nobody except you has to see your screen.) She will show you how to blank out your screen if someone starts to watch.  The seminar will explore block file features, customization options, and best practices to streamline your workflow.  Tina's practical insights will empower you to harness the capabilities of this software, allowing you to focus more on the essence of your work—capturing and preserving the spoken word accurately.

Presenter:  Tina Hoecker, Official Court Reporter

To the Control Room and Beyond – Court Specialists and New Hires 

With the shortage of Official Court Reporters, the Supreme Court and Court Reporting Services has provided a way to continue to capture the record … enter the Court Specialist. Electronic recording has proven to be an integral component to addressing the staffing shortage in many circuits. Court Specialists, as well as Official Court Reporters, tasked with this challenging job, develop a unique skill. Let us expand those skills together. A  session of tips, tricks, and helpful hints to ensure capturing a viable audio recording; as well as, practical pointers in transcript production.

Presenters: Tammy Gulley, Official Court Reporter/Supervisor and Robin Winters, Official Court Reporter/Supervisor



Springfield/Webinar:  No paid leave day will be awarded for Friday seminars, but you may submit for an education day through your WebHR account.  

Lisle, Saturday, March 16, 2024:  Employees who have confirmed attendance at all 4 live sessions will receive a paid leave day in their WebHR account to use before the end of the calendar year. Employees who cannot attend live will be able to watch video replays of most sessions.  

If you miss a session you are interested in... catch it on Zoom or the video playback!  Note:  for video playbacks, CRS will provide a completion certificate upon request but it is the employee's responsibility to submit it to NCRA and pay the fee.

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