Committee Reports

Strategic Alliances Committee Report

Since 2008, I have been PCRA’s liaison to the Pennsylvania Association of Court Management (PACM).  PACM is a member organization comprised of court administrators, directors, managers who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the courthouses across the state of Pennsylvania.  As many of you know, I am an official court reporter in Montgomery County, and I volunteered to be the liaison because it is important for me to network with the people that run our court system and to represent official court reporters across our state to talk about the value and importance of live court reporters in the judicial system.  This conference is called the PJ/PACM Mid-Annual Conference because all the President Judges across our state attend in addition to the PACM members.  It is a wonderful opportunity to meet President Judges and talk to them about court reporting, and I look forward to this particular conference every year. 

PCRA took advantage of this opportunity to network with PACM by having me attend the 2012 PJ/PACM Judicial Conference held at the Nittany Lion Inn on Sunday, June 3, 2012 through Tuesday, June 5, 2012.    PACM also has a convention in the fall without the President Judges, and PCRA participates by being a vendor.    At their conferences, they have all-day seminars similar to our convention with speakers on various topics relating to the business aspects of running the departments of a courthouse.   They also share ideas among counties regarding policies and procedures.   They have their annual business meeting, and they have a banquet to install their incoming Board of Directors.

I am happy to report to you that the new President of PACM is Patricia Ranieri from my county of Montgomery.  It was a proud moment personally for me to be sitting at the Montgomery County President’s table with Patricia; The Honorable William J. Furber, Jr., President Judge of Montgomery County; The Honorable Thomas M. DelRicci, President of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and Montgomery County Judge; as well as my Court Administrator, Director of Court Services, and the Deputy Court Administrators for Family and Criminal Court.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) oversees PACM, and they have many representatives attend the convention, as well.   Zygmont A. Pines, Esquire, is the State Court Administrator.  He is a well-respected man and a strong leader with AOPC, and many PACM members look forward to a few minutes of his time to discuss various topics.   Mr. Pines always gives the welcome speech at the PACM conference.  This year by fate or coincidence – I believe fate -- I ended up sitting next to Mr. Pines for the opening of the conference.  I did not know that the blank chair next to me was Mr. Pines until he left the podium after his welcome speech and sat next to me.  I realized this was my chance to make a personal connection as well as professional connection with Mr. Pines. 

Immediately after the speaker ended and before we took a break, I introduced myself to Mr. Pines as an official court reporter and the liaison of PCRA.  To make a personal connection, I reminded him that I first saw him in 2008 when I was invited to the PACM conference as the liaison, and they presented him with a Phillies tee shirt for being the National League Champions.  The Phillies went on to win the World Series that year!   Mr. Pines was surprised I remembered that, and he was happy to remember that moment.  This conversation opened the door for Mr. Pines to ask me if there were any “burning issues” that the court reporters had, which seemed like a general question he asks PACM members to obtain feedback. 

I knew one of the seminars at the conference was about the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, and I know the value and importance of having a live court reporter present for a hearing-impaired person in the courtroom.  I quickly answered that there are no burning issues for us.  We want to ensure we have enough official court reporters to provide realtime for the hearing-impaired to comply with the ADA requirements.     

Those few minutes I had to speak with Mr. Pines were invaluable to me, because I feel I planted the seed of the value and importance a live court reporter provides to the public in the judicial setting.   I also made a personal connection with him, which, hopefully, will present more opportunities to speak with him one on one.

It is important for PCRA to stay visible with PACM and AOPC and build as many positive relationships as possible.  I truly appreciate the PCRA Board’s decision to allow me to participate in the 2012 PJ/PACM Conference, and it is an honor to represent my fellow court reporters -- officials, freelancers, captioners, and CART-- at this networking event.

Respectfully submitted,

Michele M. Sherry, CSR, RPR

Committee Chairperson


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The Outline Newsletter

The Outline - Winter 2018