Saturday, June 16, 2012

Transcript Reimbursement Fund Pro Per Pilot Project Update

Source: Court Reporter Board of California Spring Newsletter 2012

The new year kicked off the second half of the two-year (California) Transcript Reimbursement Fund (TRF) Pro Per Pilot Project. With 73 requests remaining from 2011, staff immediately began processing applications with the new $30,000 allotment for the year.

There were 216 requests approved between January 1, 2011, and February 29, 2012. A total of 45 applications have been denied for being criminal cases or because the litigant retained an attorney or were returned as incomplete because of missing signatures, fee waivers, estimates or other information.

Every effort is made to remedy deficient applications when clarification is needed or the estimates have not been provided; however, this greatly increases the processing time for all applications since the fund is limited and requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

As part of the addition of Business and Professions Code 8030.5, the Board was mandated to further publicize the availability of the TRF to qualified legal services projects, qualified support centers, and pro bono attorneys. These efforts were to be made utilizing existing resources and include outreach to the State Bar Association of California, the California Commission on Access to Justice, and the Legal Aid Association of California. With the restriction of travel and other expenditures, the Board was limited on the type of outreach available. An informational brochure was created and has been distributed at conventions, such as the State Bar Annual Meeting, the Beyond the Bench Family Law Conference, and the Northern California Pro Bono Regional Meeting. In addition to the mandated outreach, the California Court Reporters Association published an article in its CCRA Online newsletter in December 2011.

To date, approximately 114 vulnerable litigants have been assisted by the pro per pilot project who may not have been able to pursue their cases or appeals without the assistance of the TRF. And although demand clearly exceeds resources for the pro per fund, the TRF overall is being better utilized than in prior years and continues to be fiscally sound.

As required by the Business & Professions Code, the Board submitted a report to the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees on March 1, 2012, regarding the TRF and pro per pilot project. The subject is also of special interest to the Legislature in their oversight of the Board as a whole in the sunset review process. The Board awaits a decision from the Legislature on whether or not the pro per pilot project will be extended after January 1, 2013.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food From the Bar Campaign - April 30 - May 25, 2012

Hutchings' Wear-Jeans-to-Work team is joining the legal community for a 4-week Food from the Bar Campaign to support the fantastic work of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. April 30 - May 25, 2012.

We ask for your kind assistance with non-perishible food, dollars or volunteer efforts. Look for Hutchings' food bins in our LA and OC offices. More than 1 million people receive food assistance from the Food Bank each year!

LA Food Bank - Fighting Hunger. Giving Hope.

Friday, April 27, 2012

SoCalPROS Walk Team Raises Over $1,800 for Alzheimer's Association

The SoCalPROS Walk To End Alzheimer’s Team may have been short on walkers, but we raised over $1,800! This is the SoCalPROS Walk Team’s 2nd year of participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s which took place on Saturday, April 21st in Tustin, California. Pictured: Martha Hutchings, Shannon Kennedy, Sangeeta Agrawal, and Diana Baker.

Hutchings Court Reporters “Hutchings Heroes” team will be walking on September 22, 2012 at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim. We'd Love To Have You Join Us This Year!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hutchings Mentor Program - Beginning Its 19th Year!

submitted by Hillary Sackett, Hutchings Mentor Program Coordinator

Hutchings Court Reporters' Mentor Program is designed to give southern California students an exciting opportunity to receive practical and professional advice along with priority treatment for deposition apprentice hours. The program complements the instruction of court reporting schools.

Over 550 court reporting students from the following southern California schools have participated in Hutchings Mentor Program over the past 18 years: Cypress College, Cerritos College, Sage College, South Coast College, Downey Adult School, Tri-Community College and Bryan College.