The 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo is the place to earn new certifications

Professionals seeking to add nationally recognized certifications to their résumés can choose from several opportunities to work toward them at the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 10-13 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Programs and certifications opportunities available this year include the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC), Certified Reporting Instructor (CRI), and Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS). Note that many certifications require multiple steps to earn, so one or more components of testing may not be available during convention.

Certified Realtime Reporter Boot Camp

For those interested in learning how to pass the CRR, a three-hour long boot camp is available on Aug. 12. The CRR is recognized in the industry as the national certification of realtime competency. Taught by Kathryn Sweeney, FAPR, RMR, CRR, who helped develop the boot camp program, the course has enabled many to successfully pass the test on the first take. Sweeney is a freelance reporter and agency owner from Action, Mass.

Convention learning2In the course, Sweeney explains the testing requirements, covers NCRA’s What is an Error?, discusses what is not an error, and talks about the new online testing process. She also offers tips for self-preparation, including what to have on test day, what to do and not do on test day, and how and why candidates fail. Participants in the session should bring their equipment with them so they can take a couple of practice tests and learn how to adjust their system settings and dictionary entries. Skills testing for the CRR is offered online.

“I strongly believe taking the CRR Boot Camp will increase the chance of passing this test. When I finished my presentation in Georgia, a woman who already had her CRR came up to me and said that she wished this seminar was around when she was preparing for the test; that it had all of the information and steps that she muddled through on her own. She said it took years of figuring out what was being asked of her and then changing her writing and learning her equipment and software in order to pass,” Sweeney said.

“With this boot camp, I can help you in three hours,” added Sweeney, who also served as a beta tester for NCRA’s online testing system and as CRR Chief Examiner on behalf of the Association for 17 years.

Certified Realtime Captioner Workshop

Convention participants seeking the CRC certification can attend a 10-hour Workshop held Aug. 10-11 and take the Written Knowledge Test on Aug. 11, completing two of the three steps to the certification. (The third step, a Skills Test, can be taken anytime online.)

Leading the workshop are: Deanna Baker, FAPR, RMR, a broadcast captioner from Flagstaff, Ariz.; LeAnn Hibler, RMR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner from Joliet, Ill.; Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner from Nashville, Tenn.; and Heidi Thomas, FARP, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner from Acworth, Ga.

Convention learning“I know you will learn something new, no matter how long you have been captioning,” said Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a broadcast captioner based in Portland, Ore. Studenmund heads the Certified Realtime Captioner Certification Committee. “Then take the Written Knowledge Test right after the workshop — while the material is fresh in your mind — and before you know it, you are two thirds of the way to earning the certification.”

Certified Reporting Instructor Workshop

Educators interested in earning the CRI can attend a two-day Workshop, Aug. 10-11, designed to expand their level of knowledge for becoming more effective realtime reporting instructors. The Workshop covers information about the learning process, how to develop court reporting syllabi and lesson plans, and how role playing a variety of courtroom scenarios can aid students’ understanding.

“Those who attend and participate in the CRI Workshop will gain wonderful insight and skills for training the future of our profession,” said Dr. Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE, who will lead the session. Krueger is a full-time faculty member at Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, Ohio,

“The CRI credential demonstrates excellence and dedication in teaching, assuring students they are benefiting from the best instructors available and others that the court reporting profession is in good hands as those learners prepare to continue the noble and fine work of court reporters and captioners everywhere,” she added.

CLVS SeminarCertified Legal Video Specialist Seminar and Production Exam

Participants interested in earning the CLVS certification can attend the required three-day seminar from Aug. 11-13. The CLVS production exam is also available on Aug. 11 and 12, for those who are qualified. The CLVS program sets and enforces standards for competency in the capture, utilization, and retention of legal video and promotes awareness of these standards within the legal marketplace. Legal videographers often partner with court reporters to ensure the integrity of both the video of legal proceedings and the official transcript.

“Attending at the CLVS Seminar is beneficial to both experienced legal videographers as well as novices to the profession,” said Jason Levin, CLVS, with Virginia Media Group, Washington, D.C. Levin is one of the instructors leading the seminar.

“Our goal is to prepare videographers for the production and written exams, and on the last day of the seminar we actually conduct mock depositions where the attendees can operate the equipment in a deposition environment. Earning the CLVS certification sets yourself apart from noncertified videographers.  The networking opportunities of attending an event like this are well worth the investment,” he added.

 

Don’t miss the savings on lodging at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the host hotel for the 2017 Convention. Attendees who register to stay at Planet Hollywood on Friday and Saturday nights are eligible for free breakfast and to win one of six new Kindle Fire tablets in a giveaway. Visit NCRA.org/Convention to register now.

Advance your legal video skills at the NCRA Convention & Expo

VideographyNCRA offers legal videographers the opportunity to complete several steps toward their Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) certification at the NCRA Convention & Expo. Work toward the CLVS certification through the three-day CLVS Seminar and Production Exam while networking with both up-and-coming and highly regarded CLVSs and court reporters. There is also a ticketed Legal Videographers Reception on Friday from 6-7 p.m.

Robin Cassidy-Duran, RPR, CLVS, a freelancer and firm owner in Eugene, Ore., offers this advice on becoming a CLVS: “As a court reporter, I had observed many videographers over the years, and I sometimes envied their job as I struggled to get every word down on my machine. I decided that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I wanted to be taken seriously when I walked into the deposition. I decided to begin with the Certified Legal Video Specialist program.”

Put CLVS after your name

Videographers new to legal video can take the three-day CLVS Seminar. If they have already completed the CLVS Seminar, then they can sign up for the CLVS Production Exam on Friday or Saturday.

Craig F. Mitchell, CLVS, states: “Had I not studied the CLVS standards, invested in top quality professional equipment, practiced, and intensely tested every aspect of what was expected, that first deposition certainly would have been my last.”

Legal videographers with sufficient deposition-taking experience may apply to take the CLVS Seminar and CLVS Production Exam concurrently. Once approved by the CLVS Council, experienced videographers will be notified that they can take the CLVS Seminar on Saturday and the CLVS Production Exam on Sunday.

CLVS candidates are encouraged to take advantage of the NCRA room block while in Las Vegas.

NCRA’s CLVS Council plans launch of online seminar content

VideographyBy Natalie Dippenaar

In conjunction with the Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) Fall Event, held at the NCRA offices in Reston, Va., NCRA’s CLVS Council launched an exciting and long-planned project. Rather than offering training to prospective CLVS candidates, NCRA and the council members opted to spend the weekend capturing the contents of the seminar with the goal of bringing the majority of the three-day program online. Typically, the CLVS Council travels two or three times a year to offer the three-day seminar and production exam testing required for the CLVS certification.

With this in mind, the National Court Reporters Foundation offered space in NCRA headquarters as a production studio. Brian Clune, CLVS; Jason Levin, CLVS; Gene Betler, Jr., CLVS; and Bruce Balmer, CLVS, presented and captured topics as diverse as what it means to be a legal videographer, the components of a deposition recording system, the CLVS Code of Ethics, and the CLVS Standards for Video Depositions, as well as applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The project is still in its infancy, but NCRA plans to make the online version available by early to mid-2017.

The weekend concluded with a number of candidates taking the production exam. For some, it was the culmination of their studies and will result in them becoming newly certified, while for others it was the second step as they prepare to take the Written Knowledge Test in January 2017.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at ndippenaar@ncra.org.

NCRA’s CLVS Spring Event draws professionals from around the nation

DSC_0148The NCRA CLVS Spring Event held March 11-13 at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., drew 36 participants for the three-day seminar and 22 candidates for the required test. The seminar, which is held twice a year, is led by some of the best and brightest in the legal video profession. The program provides CLVS certification candidates with skills in video-recording depositions and courtroom proceedings that follow accepted Rules of Civil Procedure.

“The CLVS conference was awesome. It was well worth the time and money spent to learn from the experts in the field. From guidance in assembling your first video kit to how to properly end a deposition, they covered everything from A to Z,” said Andrea Kreutz, a videographer for Huney-Vaughn Court Reporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The networking session allowed us to meet other videographers from around the country,” Kreutz added.

Candidates for NCRA’s CLVS certification must complete a three-step process: attend the CLVS Seminar, pass the Written Knowledge Test, and pass the hands-on Production Exam. Steps two and three can be taken in any order once step one is completed.

DSC_0190NCRA’s CLVS Spring Event also offered an Experienced Track, which allowed qualified experienced legal videographers the opportunity to attend only the mandatory Saturday session of the Seminar followed by the CLVS Production Exam on Sunday.

“I had the pleasure of being one of the instructors in the hands-on section on Sunday. For most of the participants, this was their first time setting up the equipment and actually operating the camera in a mock deposition,” said Jason Levin, CLVS, with the Virginia Media Group in Washington, D.C.

“The feedback I got was extremely positive. In fact, one woman pulled me aside to tell me she felt a bit overwhelmed Friday and Saturday, but by the end of the hands-on training on Sunday, her confidence was at an all-time high and her spirit was greatly lifted. So as far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished!” Levin added.

In addition to the seminar’s attendees, eight members of NCRA’s CLVS Council were also on hand. The CLVS Council is made up of a group of experienced legal videographers who volunteer their time and share their real-world expertise when leading the CLVS Seminar, which provides a huge benefit to the candidates who attend. Participants in the CLVS Seminar also experience valuable networking opportunities that can lead to future job assignments.

For more information about NCRA’s CLVS certification or to register for next the seminar, visit NCRA.org/CLVS or contact Angie Ritterpusch, Assistant Director of Professional Development, at aritterpusch@ncra.org.

NCRA’s CLVS Spring Event is filling fast

VideographySpace is filling up for NCRA’s 2016 CLVS Spring Event at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., March 11-13. To date, only five slots are left for the three-day seminar, which is led by some of the best and brightest in the legal video profession. The seminar gives CLVS certification candidates with experience in video-recording depositions and courtroom proceedings a skill level that follows accepted Rules of Civil Procedure.

Candidates for NCRA’s CLVS certification must complete a three-step process: attend the CLVS Seminar, pass a written knowledge test, and pass a hands-on production examination. Steps two and three can be taken in any order once step one is completed.

“My goal for 2016 is to become CLVS certified,” said Andrea Kreutz, who is registered for the seminar and the production exam. “It will mean that I am dedicated to providing quality services to our clients.”

Kreutz has been working as a videographer for just over six months for Huney-Vaughn Court Reporters, Des Moines, Iowa. She thinks one of the greatest benefits of attending the Spring Event will be the opportunity to learn from experienced videographers.

“I hope we are provided with recommended practices that will make our jobs easier. Also, I hope to learn the best way to educate attorneys on how videography works,” she added.

Nicholas Sanfratello, a videographer with Jenson Litigation Solutions, Chicago, Ill., is also looking forward to learning the necessary skills to become a CLVS for his company when he attends the seminar.

“Having the certification will mean that I have opened the doors to be a legal videographer and to explore what else I can do with this great achievement,” said Sanfratello, who has just recently entered the videography field.

NCRA’s CLVS Spring Event also offers an Experienced Track, which allows qualified experienced legal videographers the opportunity to attend only the mandatory Saturday session of the seminar followed by the CLVS production exam on Sunday.

NCRA’s CLVS Council is made up of a group of experienced legal videographers who volunteer their time and share their real-world experience when leading the CLVS Seminar. Their vast experience provides a huge benefit to the candidates who attend. Participants in the CLVS Seminar also experience valuable networking opportunities that can lead to future job assignments.

For more information about NCRA’s CLVS certification or to register for the upcoming seminar, visit NCRA.org/meetings or contact Angie Ritterpusch, Assistant Director of Professional Development, at aritterpusch@ncra.org.

Legal videographers can earn NCRA’s CLVS certification

VideographyRegistration is now open for NCRA’s 2016 CLVS Spring Event taking place at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., March 11-13. The three-day seminar, led by some of the best and brightest in the legal video profession, provides candidates for the certification with experience in video recording depositions and courtroom proceedings with a skill level that is in accordance with accepted Rules of Civil Procedure. Space for the CLVS Seminar is limited to 25 spots.

“If you want to be seen as a professional in any endeavor, you must first become familiar with the rules, regulations, and customs of that profession,” said Gene Betler, CLVS, Huntington, W.Va., chair of NCRA’s CLVS Committee. “Second, you must test yourself against the industry rules and standards and pass. Obtaining your CLVS certification shows not only yourself but others as well that you have met those goals.”

Candidates for NCRA’s CLVS certification are required to complete a three-step process that includes attending the CLVS Seminar, passing a written knowledge test, and passing a hands-on production examination. Steps two and three can be taken in any order once step one is completed.

An Experienced Track is also being offered at the Spring CLVS Event. Experienced legal videographers who qualify will have the opportunity to attend only the mandatory Saturday session of the seminar followed by the CLVS production test on Sunday.

NCRA’s CLVS Council is comprised of a group of experienced legal videographers who volunteer their time and share their real-world experience when leading the CLVS Seminar. Their vast experience provides a huge benefit to the candidates who attend. Participants in the CLVS Seminar also experience valuable networking opportunities that can very often lead to future job assignments.

“The networking aspect of attending the seminar cannot be overstated. I still obtain information and ideas and network jobs with those that I have met at my initial class,” said Betler. Candidates also learn the latest about new hardware and software, as well as how changes within the industry can impact the end product, said Betler. “Just think in the last few years we have gone from VHS to DVD to thumb drives to cloud based to live streaming.”

“As a seasoned video professional, I found video depositions to be a unique area of video production with special rules and procedures. These rules are necessary to learn and be aware of at every deposition,” said Brian Clune, CLVS, San Anselmo, Calif., a consultant to NCRA’s CLVS Council.

“NCRA provides the education and guidance needed to be successful and avoid critical mistakes. It is the first step to becoming a competent professional legal videographer. This is an opportunity to receive a large volume of critical information which is all condensed into one long weekend of learning,” said Clune.

For more information about NCRA’s CLVS Certification or to register for the upcoming seminar, visit NCRA.org/meetings, or contact Angie Ritterpusch, Assistant Director ofProfessional Development at aritterpusch@ncra.org.

Save the date for great NCRA learning opportunities

calendar

Photo by: Dafne Cholet

NCRA staff members are planning great ways for members to earn CEUs this year. NCRA members can also earn CEUs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS exams. Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change).

Jan. 31             Cycle extension deadline

March 11-13   CLVS Seminar and CLVS production skills test, Reston, Va.

March 19-20   NCRA Board of Directors Meeting, Reston, Va.

March 20-22   2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp, Reston, Va.

April 4-20        RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge test dates

April 17-19      2016 Firm Owners Executive Conference, San Juan, P.R.

July 9-21          RPR and CLVS written knowledge test dates

Aug. 4-7           2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, Chicago, Ill. (includes the Legal Video Conference, the CRC Workshop, and the National Speed and Realtime Contests)

Sept. 30           Submission deadline for CEUs and PDCs for members with a 9/30/16 cycle ending

Oct. 7-19         RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge tests

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 14-20), Memorial  Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on NCRA social media as they are available. Watch for more information in the JCR, the JCR Weekly, and on TheJCR.com for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

Registration options for the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo

NCRA has received questions on what’s included in each registration package for the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo. Here’s a breakdown of each registration option so that members can make their decision before registration prices go up by $50 after July 6 (extended deadline!).

Full registration discount package

  • With general seating
  • With VIP seating

Best value! The full registration discount package includes admission to concurrent seminars, the Premier Session, the Opening Reception, the Awards Luncheon, the President’s Party, the Annual Business Meeting, and a 3-day Expo pass. It does not include pre-convention intensive workshops, special programs, workshops, or the CLVS Seminar.

Partial registration

  • Three days
  • Two days (Fri./Sat. or Sat./Sun.)
  • One day (Fri. or Sat.)
  • Sunday only (half-day)

Partial registration includes admission to concurrent seminars on the days registered, the Premier Session, the Annual Business Meeting, and a 3-day Expo pass. It does not include pre-convention intensive workshops, special programs, workshops, or the CLVS Seminar. Social event tickets are not included in this package.

CLVS Seminar

  • Three days (Fri./Sat./Sun.)
  • Two days (Fri./Mandatory Day [Sat.] or Sat./Sun.)
  • One-day (Mandatory Day [Sat.])

Registration for the CLVS Seminar includes one ticket to the legal videographer reception and a 3-day Expo pass. It does not include other social events, concurrent seminars, or special programs/events. Those items must be purchased separately.

Special programs and events

  • National Speed Competition
  • Realtime Competition
  • Special offer — Speed & Realtime Competition combo
  • Punctuation Workshop
  • Teachers’ Workshop

The Speed and Realtime Competitions are not included with partial registration, certification programs packages, or the CLVS Seminar and must be purchased separately. Please register for the Punctuation Workshop and Teachers’ Workshop to reserve your seat.

Certificate and certification programs

  • Realtime Systems Administrators Workshop
  • Realtime Systems Administrators Exam
  • Certified Reporting Instructor Orientation
  • Certified Realtime Captioner Workshop
  • Certified Realtime Captioner Exam

Registration for these certificate and certification programs includes a 3-day Expo pass; social events are not included. The Certified Realtime Captioner Workshop includes admission to concurrent seminars on Friday and Saturday afternoons after the workshop breaks for the day. Partial registration (Sunday) will be required for attendance at Sunday concurrent seminars.

Pre-convention vendor workshops

  • Advantage Software/Eclipse
  • ProCAT
  • Stenograph

These intensive training seminars are held on Thursday, July 30. Registration for these workshops includes a 3-day Expo pass. Select which vendor workshop you wish to attend.

Networking package

  • Networking package general seating
  • Networking package VIP seating

The networking package includes the Opening Reception, the Awards Luncheon, the President’s Party, the Premier Seminar, the Annual Business Meeting, and a 3-day Expo pass.

Individual social event tickets

  • Opening Reception (Thurs.)
  • CLVS Reception (Fri.)
  • CART/Captioner’s Reception (Fri.)
  • Awards Luncheon (Sat.)
  • President’s Party (Sat.) — general seating
  • President’s Party (Sat.) — VIP seating

Social event tickets are not included with partial registration, certification programs packages, or the CLVS Seminar (except as noted) and must be purchased separately.

Register now or visit the registration information page for a breakdown of prices.

NCRA’s CLVS Seminar to be colocated with NCRA Convention & Expo

IMG_3475_BNCRA’s Certified Legal Video Specialist Seminar and certification will be held in conjunction with the NCRA Convention & Expo in New York City, July 30-Aug. 2. The CLVS Seminar provides training for up-and-coming candidates in NCRA’s CLVS program. CLVS candidates may also sign up for a production test at this event.

In addition to offering NCRA’s CLVS Seminar and the CLVS Production Skills Test, the event will include networking opportunities especially for legal videographers. By co-locating the Legal Video Conference with the NCRA Convention & Expo, attending videographers and CLVS candidates will also have access to an expanded exhibit hall with an extensive selection of vendors and the opportunity to network with court reporting and captioning professionals. In addition, attendees of the Legal Video Conference will have the option of attending general NCRA sessions, as well as the opening reception and keynote events.

Read more.

Drone update: Regulations still in the works to address use

Photo by: Don McCullough

Photo by: Don McCullough

Depending on the final rules soon to be issued by the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the use of drones for commercial purposes, the potential for new business opportunities by legal videographers could be great, according to NCRA member Gene Betler, CLVS, co-chair of the Association’s CLVS Council.

Betler, a retired air traffic controller and owner of Betler’s Reporting & Legal Video Services, in Huntington, W.Va., led a presentation about the potential use of drones for commercial use at NCRA’s recent TechCon event held April 10-12 in Denver, Colo.

“The FAA is still working to get the rules in place for the commercial use of drones but is also currently working to revise regulations related to how drones are used for personal reasons. As of now, can you fly them for recreational use? Yes. Can you use them for commercial purposes to make a profit? No,” Betler said during his presentation.

Betler provided attendees with an overview of the history of drone use, as well as a timeline leading up to the current regulations and the reasoning behind FAA’s proposed change in rules regarding their noncommercial use. Currently, he said, the FAA is proposing to amend its regulations to adopt specific rules to allow the operation of these small unmanned aircraft systems in the National Airspace System. The changes would address the operation of unmanned aircraft systems, certification of their operators, registration, and display of registration markings. The proposed rule would also find that airworthiness certification is not required for small unmanned aircraft system operations that would be subject to this proposed rule. Lastly, the proposed rule would prohibit model aircraft from endangering the safety of the National Airspace System.

Betler also shared information about the types of drones available on the market, the range in cost from $100 on up, the capabilities they have, and scenarios for potential commercial use. He also shared footage taken with his own drone flying over his home and surrounding property and noted that the video was sent back immediately to him on the ground. The footage included video taken from 300 feet to 500 feet in the air and demonstrated how the operator could also control the angles of shots.

According to Betler, the investment in a drone is no more than the investment in purchasing a new camera, and the opportunities for their commercial use are potentially vast.

“Aerial photography and videography are expensive,” Betler said. “Until now they have required big cameras and aircraft like helicopters. But now with drones, the cost is low in comparison. In any legal case, no matter how small, providing a real view of the subject would enhance the understanding of the jury. And that’s an opportunity for you to generate new revenue streams.”

Other uses Betler noted that drones could be used for included surveying damaged roofs for insurance claims, accident footage, and videoing real estate.

Belter also noted that while the FAA is working to amend its current regulations related to the personal use of drones, the growing number of people purchasing them to use as a hobby has led to many states currently making their own rules regarding their use, especially when it comes to air space, privacy, and specific locations where flying the unmanned aircraft could prove too dangerous.

For more information about the use of drones and regulations, Betler shared the following resources:

 

FAA

Know before you fly.org

The Academy of Model Aeronautics

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

The Small UAV Coalition.org