Upcoming Events

Click on event for more information! 


Board Meeting
July 13 - 10:00 a.m.


Fall Seminar
September 21, 9:00-5:00


Board Meeting
October 19 - 10:00 a.m.


Board Meeting
January 11, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.


24th Annual Convention
February 28 - March 1, 2020


24th Annual Convention

Join CalDRA February 22-24, 2019, at the Hilton Santa Barbara and help us celebrate our 23rd annual convention.  Get ready for an exciting weekend of learning, networking, and rekindling friendships!  We have a relaxed but productive weekend planned for you, which includes the California Realtime Competition, the CCRR exam, and a whole host of wonderfully informative and useful seminars.  Speakers:  Jade King, Michelle Kirkpatrick, Sue Terry, Ed Howard, Toni Pulone, Terry Littlefield, Kyung Green, Shanna Gray, Kathleen O'Neill, Brian Clune and John Garnett, providing fantastic seminars.  Join us at the Friday night cocktail reception with Sean Wiggins, an artist with a voice that is reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt!   


We have two tracks to serve you:

  • Professionals Track
  • Firm Owners Track
    1.10 CEUs

Be sure to make your room reservations early and take advantage of CalDRA's special room block pricing.

Friday, February 22

Registration Open 9:00 AM

California Realtime Competition

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sign up to compete when registering for the convention at the discounted rate of $99 -or-
Click here to sign up for the California Realtime Competition separately from the convention

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Ask CalDRA Depo Diplomat, Toni Pulone 
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Toni Pulone
Founding member, Legislative Chair, and esteemed colleague Toni Pulone, CalDRA’s “Depo Diplomat,” will be on hand to answer your most burning questions about the ins and outs of deposition reporting.  From legislation to ethics to interpreting nuances within California Code of Civil Procedure as they apply to your duties, Toni’s expertise in all things reporting will have you walking away from this informative seminar feeling empowered and ready to tackle your next job.

Afternoon Break with Exhibitors
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Two Methods, One Transcript - An Introduction to Voice Writing
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Tori Pittman
As California reporters, firms, and governmental entities face a shortage of qualified professionals to take down the record, practitioners of the voice writing method may be an option to add to the skilled labor force. It’s not the same way a machine stenographer takes down the record, but it’s not that different in the end. From equipment to take-down, education to certification, editing to production, this overview session will help with understanding how a professional voice writer can serve as a colleague and ally in this challenging marketplace.

CalDRA's Famous Cocktail Party with Sean Wiggins • 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
"An artist with a voice that is reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt, but a style that outshines any comparisons" - Santa Barbara Independent.  Come celebrate another successful year with the most entertaining court reporting association in the nation!  CalDRA’s famous Friday Night Cocktail Party is sure to kick off this amazing convention weekend with a bang.  Grab a drink with a long-time colleague, make a new friend or two, and network for that next lucrative job over canapes and conversation.  The smooth sounds of Sean Wiggins are sure to set the mood for a perfect Santa Barbara evening with your fellow reporters!

Saturday, February 23

Registration Open 7:30 AM

Exhibitor Hall Open 7:30 AM

Continental Breakfast 7:30 AM

Firm Owners

.20 CEUs 
Keynote - Be Extraordinary in a Technological World
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Jade King
This is your passport to exploring your career from an international perspective!  For this CalDRA exclusive, world-famous stenographer Jade King of Hong Kong will be on hand, ready to inspire you with tales from exotic, far-off lands.  Pack your suitcase, put your steno machine in the overhead luggage bin, and join us for a first-class adventure around the globe.  Jade will share highlights of her amazing career, writing steno at high-profile conferences, legal proceedings, and ceremonies around the world, all in real time.  With her specialty in tech conference work, Jade will break down the future of digital technologies in capturing the spoken word, and how we can continue to set steno apart as a superior methodology for years to come.  If you have ever dreamed of becoming an international court reporter, this is a seminar you just can’t afford to miss.  The world is calling.  Where will your steno take you next?

Morning Break with Exhibitors
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Luncheon: President’s Remarks and Awards
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Hear from CalDRA’s President, in addition to learning the outcome of the Realtime Competition.

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Give Yourself a Raise!
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Sue Terry
CalDRA is pleased to present NCRA President Sue Terry, veteran reporter of over 40 years and accomplished realtime reporter.  Sue is renowned in the field as a tech master, and she specializes in employing technological methods to help improve efficiency in editing and producing transcripts.  Sue will lead attendees through an interactive discussion of fun and helpful internet tidbits, as well as the art of performing effective internet searches, drastically improving the quality of information-gathering required for transcripts.  This interactive session will conclude with pro realtime writing tips designed to enhance your realtime output, helping you hand each job in faster, resulting in hundreds or even thousands of hours and dollars gained every year due to increased efficiency.

Firm Owners
.15 CEUs 
Strengthening Reporters and Increasing Profits:  Investing in and Engaging Your Reporters for a Healthier Bottom Line
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Michelle Kirkpatrick
It's one of the oldest jokes in the business world:  Two managers are talking about training their employees. The first asks, "What if we train them and they just leave?" The second responds, "What if we don't train them and they stay?" Richard Branson may have best captured the essence of this point, however: "Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to."  Our world of court reporting is changing. We knew it would. It is changing in ways that do not surprise us in the least and also in ways we might not ever have expected. If there is one group of people who have been more affected than court reporters by the evolution of our industry, however, it’s the “local firm owner.”  “Strengthening reporters and increasing profits” is a concept built around supporting the core asset of your business model, the court reporter; bridging the skill gap that is the “glass ceiling” for success in the value-added services arena; and using the tools of training, investment, and engagement with regard to your valued court reporters in order to secure your place as a successful and thriving firm owner into the future of court reporting.

Afternoon Break with Exhibitors
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Postures, Breath, Joy
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Terry Littlefield
What better place than beautiful Santa Barbara, California, to find peace and tranquility through better health of mind and body?  Terry Littlefield, yoga guru extraordinaire (and former court reporter) will take you on a healthful journey to explore your posture and ways to improve it.  Targeted yoga and strengthening to keep the body flexible and pain-free, on and off the job, will be demonstrated to attendees in easy-to-follow steps. Let’s face it:  Reporting is hard on the body.  Terry will demonstrate ways to harness the power of our breath to be kinder to our aching joints.  Get ready to get grounded, get centered, get calm, or even just get going on the record!  No yoga experience or activewear necessary -- just a willingness to commit to better health through learning, and to have some fun while doing it!

Firm Owners
.15 CEUs 
Securing Your Transcripts and Profits In The Digital Age
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
YesLaw - Brian Clune, John Garnett
Have you been wanting to take the leap to paperless transcripts and online repositories but just haven’t found the time to make the leap yet?  YesLaw has you covered.  Brian and John will walk you through YesLaw’s step-by-step guide for creating locked, secure digital files that fully conform with the new CA Rules of Court regarding electronic transcripts.  Using ANY CAT software, learn to add value to your business transcripts without any extra effort on your part!

Vendor Reception
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Join CalDRA’s Board of Directors and vendors for a champagne toast and spend some time browsing all the products brought to the convention for you! Be sure to take advantage of the special convention pricing our fabulous vendors are offering.

Sunday, February 24

5K Fun Run 6:30 AM - 7:00 AM

Registration Open 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Exhibitor Hall Open 8:00 AM

Continental Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Mastering the Art of Professional Presence
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Michelle Kirkpatrick
Increase your confidence, enhance the extraordinary skills of your trade, while building a personal brand that sets you apart and strengthens your professional image.  Experienced freelance reporter, Michelle Kirkpatrick, will teach you powerful tools to create your own personal brand and explain how our awareness, knowledge, development and mastery are the key factors to professional success in reporting.

Firm Owners
.15 CEU 
Deconstructing the Dynamex Decision.
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Ed Howard
On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, clarifying the standard for determining whether workers in California -- including freelance court reporters -- should be classified as employees or as independent contractors.  As one commentator put it:  "The Dynamex decision is like a California earthquake, with a sharp shake at first, followed by aftershocks that continue sometimes for years. Every California business that has used the independent contractor business model will feel the effects of this decision for years to come, and will have to address difficult questions concerning the continued viability of the contractor model."  CalDRA is your earthquake preparedness kit!  We are here to help.  Join Legislative Counsel Ed Howard for a robust question-and-answer session on this very controversial topic, including methods to help insulate yourself from a class-action lawsuit, and what you can do to protect yourself should your business find itself as an unwitting participant in a legal battle regarding this issue.

Morning Break with Exhibitors
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Firm Owners

.15 CEUs 
Court Reporter Coffee Talk!  Q&A
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Shanna Gray, Kyung Green, Kathleen O'Neill
Gossip session in the house!  Need to get something off your chest?  Tell your favorite anecdote?  Take a consensus on a dicey depo scenario?  Well, the time has finally arrived.  Don’t be shy!  Join three of your favorite, most opinionated SoCal reporters, Kyung Lee-Green, Shanna Gray, and Kathleen O’Neill, for 90 unscripted minutes of real talk, support, and a whole lot of laughs.  This session will be moderated by CalDRA President, Cheryl Haab.

Firm Owners
.15 CEU 
Working with Voice Writers  - We Speak the Same Language
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Tori Pittman
Because working with voice writers in a professional firm setting is a new and different experience for many California agencies, firm owners and managers as well as support personnel should have a working knowledge of how voice writers do their jobs. This session will refresh attendees on the basics of voice and then will begin a discussion of what software and hardware is needed, the questions an agency owner and schedule coordinator should ask of a voice writer who is coming into their firm, and the terminology differences when talking about voice writing as compared to steno. Augment your team seamlessly with voice writers and be confident in your ability to match the skill set of your reporters with the needs of your clients.

Afternoon Break with Exhibitors
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

CCRR Examination 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Separate Registration Required



Hotel Information & Room Reservations


633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, California 93103

Room Rate $199.00
Cutoff is 1-21-2019

Resort highlights

  • Newly renovated spacious guest rooms with fresh, coastal design
  • Private balcony or patio with garden, mountain or ocean views from every room
  • One of the largest outdoor pools in the region, shuffleboard and sports courts
  • More than 60,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor/outdoor event space
  • Newly designed ballrooms, boardrooms and the Plaza Del Sol, overlooking the ocean
  • Private beach catering and iconic Fess Parker Wine Tasting room

Group rate available until January 21, 2019. Starting at $199.00 per night (subject to availability).
Make your room reservations at this special rate by calling 805-564-4333 or reserving online!  When calling, ask for the CalDRA 23rd Annual Convention rate.

Hotel Amenities and Features

  • Airport Shuttle
  • Full Service Spa
  • Fitness Center
  • Pool
  • Tennis Court


Resources for more Information

Travel & Directions

Airport (SBA) – 11 miles, 15 minute drive. Hotel offers free shuttle between 5:00 a.m. and  9:00 p.m. by calling the hotel directly upon arrival at 805-564-4333.

From the North: Take 101 southbound to Santa Barbara. Take the Garden Street exit and make a right onto Garden Street, which will end at the waterfront (approximately 3 blocks). At the waterfront, turn left onto Cabrillo Blvd. Follow Cabrillo appx. ¼ mile. At Calle Puerto Vallarta, turn left at the light and then again left into the hotel parking lot. Come in the driveway, and head left, following the signs to the hotel lobby. Once you register, you can park closely to where your room is located.

From the South: Take 101 North to Santa Barbara. Exit the freeway at exit 94C Cabrillo exit (this is a left side exit ramp). At the bottom of the off- ramp, turn left onto Cabrillo Boulevard. Follow Cabrillo about 1 ¾ miles. Turn right onto Calle Puerto Vallarta. The hotel entrance is the first driveway on the left. Come in the driveway, and head left, following the signs to the hotel lobby. Once you register, you can park closely to where your room is located.

From the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport: Hotel offers free shuttle between 5:00 a.m. and  9:00 p.m. by calling the hotel directly upon arrival at 805-564-4333. Turn right out of the airport onto William L. Moffet PL / Sandspit Road. Follow this road appx. 1/4 mile, which will curve towards the beach and under a bridge. Merge onto Ward Memorial Blvd/CA 217 North for appx. 1/2 mile. Merge onto US-101 South via the exit on the left toward Santa Barbara for appx. 10 miles. Take the Garden Street exit and make a right onto Garden Street, which will end at the beach. Turn left onto Cabrillo Blvd. Turn left onto Calle Puerto Vallarta and left into the hotel parking lot.



Convention Pricing

Early Bird Rate
Available through January 11, 2019
Regular Rate
Available through February 8, 2019
Late/On-site Rate
Starting on February 9, 2019

Professionals Track

CalDRA Member
$499 Early  /  $549 Regular
$649 Late/On-site    
$279 One Day / $329 Late/On-Site
$689 Regular  /  $789 Late/On-site
$379 One Day / $429 Late/On-Site

Firm Owners Track

CalDRA Member – $649 Regular
$749 Late/On-site
Firm Owner plus 1 employee* - $949
$1049 Late/On-site

Firm Owner plus 2 employees* - $1249
$1349 Late/On-site

Nonmember – $789 Regular
$889 Late/On-site
Firm Owner plus 1 employee* - $1089
$1189 Late/On-site
Firm Owner plus 2 employees* - $1389
$1489 Late/On-site
*Must be a current employee of registered firm owner

Students Track

CalDRA Member – $299 Regular
$349 Late/On-site
Nonmember – $439 Regular
$489 Late/On-site

Instructor Member

CalDRA Member – $299 Regular
$349 Late/On-site
Nonmember – $439 Regular
$489 Late/On-site

Additional Options

Special Events
Social Events Guest Pass – $299
$399 Late/On-site
Includes Friday Reception, Saturday Luncheon, Exhibitor Hall Access

Friday Reception – $109
Saturday Luncheon – $69

CCRR Examination
Requires Separate Registration Fee
Member – $175
Available to CalDRA, COCRA, or CCRA members
Nonmember – $335

California Realtime Competition – $99 with full convention registration
(See rules for eligibility)

Become a Member / Renew Membership
Professional Level (CSR) – $150
Professional Level (First-Year CSR) – $30
Associate Level (Non-CSR) – $150
Instructor Level – $50
Student Level – $30

Sponsor A Student
CalDRA Student Membership – $30
Student Full Convention: Member – $299
Student Scholarship / General – ANY AMOUNT

Full Registration Fee includes: All seminars, exhibit hall, continental breakfast, Saturday Luncheon, refreshment breaks in the exhibitor room, handout materials, and the Opening Reception. Cancellations/refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email accepted) no later than 4:00 pm on January 8, 2019 to qualify for a refund. There will be a $50 administrative fee for all refunds. CalDRA reserves the right to substitute speakers and seminars due to unforeseen and/or unavoidable circumstances. CalDRA and its sponsors claim no liability for the acts of any suppliers to this event nor for the safety of any attendees while at or in transit to or from this event.  ** CalDRA will award scholarships at the Saturday Luncheon.

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