NCRA Board recognizes Brian Clune for contributions to legal video program

Brian Clune, shown here with NCRA President Christine Willette, is recognized for his contribution to the legal video program at the 2018 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference

Brian Clune, CLVS, was presented with a plaque recognizing his 20 years of service to the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions. Clune was instrumental in creating NCRA’s Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) program, including developing an ever-changing seminar and creating an exam for program participants to prove a basic knowledge of the techniques and ethics required by videographers pursuing a legal video career. NCRA President Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, presented the plaque to Clune, who had retired from the CLVS Council and committee work in 2017.

“The NCRA Board of Directors wanted to formally recognize Brian Clune for his 20 years of service to the profession through his dedication and arduous work with the CLVS program,” said Willette. “The work Brian has done for the CLVS certification and the Trial Presentation programs helped lay the groundwork for what we have today. We are thankful for all that he has done to bring court reporters and legal videographers a greater understanding of each person’s role in the legal process so that together we can offer our clients a better product. His expertise in the field has been an integral part of the success of the program.”

The CLVS program not only teaches participants the mechanics and best practices for providing a consistent and impartial video record, but it also reaffirms the cooperative nature of the legal videographer and court reporter in the deposition setting. “I am grateful to be the first CLVS to be recognized by the Board for my volunteer service,” said Clune, “but it is the hard work of the many associate members on the CLVS Council that that keeps the program up to date and running smoothly. … Each council member spent extra hours beyond the regular meetings to keep the program fresh and in step with the current technology. It was this collective effort that created the success of the program for these many years.

“The council members I worked with are too many to list here, but they remain good friends even after they left the Council. I truly appreciate the opportunity to have worked with such a selfless group of people whose only reward was a more respected CLVS program.”

Clune first served as a member of the CLVS Committee and then eventually became the Chair of the CLVS Council, offering his advice to newcomers to the profession, court reporters, and the profession at large. Clune also championed the need for additional, ongoing education for legal videographers, just as is required of their reporter counterparts, and was an integral member of the group that created NCRA’s Trial Presentation Program.

“It is a rare thing when one individual can make such a tremendous contribution to shaping the development of a program like the CLVS certification,” said Jason Levin, CLVS, who currently serves as the CLVS Council Chair. “Brian had a hand in influencing every aspect of this curriculum, from co-authoring the CLVS study book to designing the practical exam to writing questions for the written exam to teaching the majority of CLVS classes at our conventions. The list of his efforts is too large to enumerate. I will miss working with him on the CLVS Council, but I take comfort in knowing that he will easily be found at the YesLaw booth at NCRA Conventions for years to come.”

“I had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Brian for many years as a Council member and as an instructor for the CLVS program,” said Robert MacTavish, an early member of the CLVS Committee. “Throughout those years, Brian skillfully guided us from the VHS era into the digital recording era.”

MacTavish added: “I have many fond memories working with Brian, and I would like to congratulate him on his twenty years of service to the NCRA.”

NCRA members shares their role in judicial system with homeschool students

JCR logoNCRA members Cyndi Larimer and Mindie Baab recently explained their jobs as official court reporters as part of a mock trial that a handful of National Home School students participated in. The mock trial was included in an article posted by the Claremore Daily Progress, Claremore, Okla., on March 31.

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NCRA Leadership Library open to assist state leaders

NCRA’s Leadership Library provides state association leaders immediate access to an array of resources aimed to help them to excel in their governing roles.

“Although NCRA has always provided resources to its state leaders, these materials were never housed in one accessible location. With the recent launch of NCRA’s new series of monthly leadership training webinars, it made sense to create the library so members could access information and resources whenever they wanted,” said Matthew R. Barusch, NCRA’s Manager, State Government Relations.

In addition to the webinars, the library houses other resources vital to running an effective state association, including information on leadership policies and best practices. There are also templates for executive committee job descriptions and charges from the role of president down to secretary.

NCRA recognized that one of the hurdles state associations face is recruiting and training board members, and knew that gap needed to be bridged, according to Kristi Johnson, a deposition reporter from Rancho St. Margarita, Calif., who serves on the Association’s National Committee for State Associations (NCSA).

“Bringing in new board members and training them to be an effective member of the board has always been a difficult task. With our association leaders all being volunteers, holding down a full-time job and/or running their own business, trying to fulfill their association commitments is a juggling act,” said Johnson.

“Finding the time to train incoming board members so they are effective in their new positions can sometimes slip through the cracks. With the help of NCRA’s State Government Relations team, NCSA has created a leadership library, which is an incredible tool for state associations to utilize in their endeavor to train and create effective board members and officers,” she added.

According to Barusch, the Government Relations team will update the library on a monthly basis, adding the latest in leadership webinars and other documents including presentations, information that will help new leaders grow into their roles, and educational resources state leaders can use when they need information regarding handling association business or promoting and protecting the profession. The effort is a direct response by NCRA to provide an increase in assistance to state leaders.

“We also welcome suggestions for additional resources from our members and encourage them to share with us ideas for topics to address and other such items,” he noted

“The NCSA Leadership Webinar series has been well received by state leaders. Our monthly attendance has been great, but we court reporters have busy schedules. With the establishment of the Leadership Library, those leaders who are unable to attend our webinars when they are presented do not miss out on the information.  They can catch up on their own time,” said Mary P. Bader, RPR, an official court reporter from Medford, Wis., and chair of NCRA’s National Committee for State Associations.

“My hope is that our webinar series is just the beginning of the information we will find in the Leadership Library. NCRA is our go-to site for all things court reporting and having a handy repository with useful information for state leaders just makes our lives easier,” she noted.