Convention Agenda

 2018 MTCRA Convention

MAY 4, 5, and 6, 2018

Missoula, MT

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula/Edgewater, MT - Hotel exterior



Double Tree by Hilton Edgewater

100 Madison Street, Missoula, MT 59802

$95 a night

Reserve by April 13, 2018



(Subject to change.)

Montana Court Reporters Association

2018 Annual Convention


Friday, May 4

4:00 to 6:00           State of Montana Crime Lab – Emily Wemlinger, Quality Manager

Gas Chromatograph-mass spectrometer?  What a what?  As court reporters, we often hear technical terms but have no idea what the instrument or tool or item looks like or exactly how it’s utilized in the day-to-day operations of the expert witness.  In this seminar, we’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the functions of the State of Montana crime lab, view their labs and instrumentation while on a private tour, and take home more terms of art to build our dictionaries. 


6:15 to 8:00           Finn & Porter – Informal Meet & Greet, Pre-registration


Saturday, May 5

8:00 to 10:00                   Backup: How not to lose sleep over data loss.

Antony Jo – Computer Systems Engineer, U of M IT Department

Glenda Travits – Official Court Reporter, State of Montana

Paper notes, as a “backup” method, are a thing of the past.  The digital age has necessitated the need to back up our steno and other files for easy retrieval at a later time and to protect us from an unfortunate loss of data.  Antony will discuss with us various backup strategies and options, as well as archiving data long term, and what it means to encrypt a file and what the purpose of that is.  Brief consultations with Antony will be available at the end of this session.

Glenda has been in the trenches working with the State of Montana on developing a central repository for reporters to back up all CAT files from court proceedings.  This repository system just came online at the end of 2017.  Glenda will go over the requirements (for both officials and contract reporters) and how to use the State system.

10:00 to 10:15        Break

10:15 to 12:15        Healthy Boundaries and Self-Advocacy –

Christina Yoshimura, U of M Psychology Department

Do you sometimes feel like a piece of furniture or a hydration-deprived camel when taking a deposition or sitting in court for too long without a break or without a chance to eat lunch?  Have you tried slowing a speaker down, only to have them blame you for not keeping up?  We’ve probably all been there.  Christina will share with us how to help make positive changes for ourselves by giving us strategies and teaching social cues that can assist us in setting healthy boundaries and advocate for ourselves in these and other difficult situations.       


12:15 to 1:30                   Break, Lunch, and Business Meeting


1:30 to 3:00           Cellular Tracking Technology – Mike Fegely — ZetX (previously         Criminal Investigator with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks)

                             Mike will take us through real court case examples and explain how he has utilized GPS data from cell towers to track subjects’ cellphone locations, helping to gather evidence and eventually taking that technology and data into legal proceedings as expert witness testimony.  You will learn about this newer technology here, rather than for your first time in court or in a deposition.

3:00 to 3:15           Break

3:15 to 4:15           Appeals for People Who Can’t Afford Them

Chad Wright – Chief Appellate Defender, State of Montana

Chad will explain to us the law and constitution related to the appeal process for criminal and dependent neglect cases.  He will talk to us about how the transcript process from their end, what makes a good transcript from the user’s perspective, and how to get paid using the new OPD Web Portal.


4:15 – 5:15            Five Tips for a Successful Website

                             Nora McDougall-Collins, Web Designer

In this session, Nora will cover maintaining ownership and control of your domain name, choosing a technology based on your unique needs, understanding we hosting and how it will affect your work, using your website as a communication tool, and taking care of your website.


6:00 to 8:00           Finn & Porter – Dinner  (Price of dinner not included.)


Sunday, May 6

8:00 to 11:15          Secondary Trauma Training –  Andrew Lau, LCSW – Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Trainer

                             Working in an environment with adversarial parties and around people who are oftentimes in the worst situations of their lives, and listening to how they happened to be there, can take a toll on anyone in the legal or law enforcement fields, including court reporters.

Andrew will share with us what secondary trauma is; what happens when traumatic material enters one’s system in an auditory manner; and how the court reporter can ward off impact using strategies to help identify secondary trauma when it has crossed the boundary into the personal world. 


Andrew’s seminars have received rave reviews and recognition from the Missoula County Attorney’s office and local law enforcement agencies.