Lance A. Boardman, RDR, CRR, is an official court reporter from Cleveland, Ohio, and has been a member of the NCRA for nearly four decades. In that time he has become one of the most visible and engaged members, serving in various capacities over the years. In this next season Boardman has been vested with a position on NCRF’s Board of Trustees and as the Association’s go-to on anything social media-related. Boardman was kind enough to grant the JCR Weekly an interview to discuss how he sees the changes in technology impacting the career fields of court reporting, captioning, and legal videography.
JCR | How do you see social media changing the way the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography communities exist?
Lance A. Boardman (LAB) | Social media has revolutionized the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography scene. It empowers professionals to showcase their skills, network nationally and internationally, easily access industry updates and training, engage with clients, and stay informed about industry trends. Social media also opens doors to remote work opportunities and feedback collection. Importantly, it also necessitates careful handling of ethical considerations like maintaining client confidentiality and professionalism in online interactions.
JCR | When was the first time you heard about court reporting?
LAB | In 1982 I had applied to Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., (my home state), but I didn’t yet know what I wanted to study. I received a call from the admissions director, Verne McDonald, asking if I’d be interested in trying out their court reporting program. I said sure, why not? I didn’t even know what the machine looked like until the first day of classes!
JCR | You have been one of the more prominent members of NCRA, serving on the Board of Directors, on various committees, and now as an NCRF Trustee. In all the capacities you’ve served, what has been/is your favorite?
LAB | Well, I’m not sure I can get on board with the “prominent” designation, but regardless, this is a tough question. I think I would have to say that my board service in general was the most rewarding. I learned a lot and got to work with and get to know some pretty fantastic people.
JCR | What does a typical day in your current job look like?
LAB | I am a federal official in Cleveland. We work as a modified pool. Although we are generally assigned to a judge each month, we end up covering for each other almost every day. A high percentage of our cases resolve before trial, so my most common hearings are pleas, sentencings, and supervised release violation hearings. I also help out our supervisor with some of the administrative duties. I’m the Dwight Schrute of the Ohio Northern District. (IYKYK)
JCR | Is there an issue you feel isn’t getting enough attention online?
LAB | Yes: How much of social media can be manipulated and manipulative without being even close to the truth. And online bullying is as bad as ever, if not worse.
JCR | When did you join NCRA? How has the Association evolved since?
LAB | I believe I first joined in 1984 (I passed the RPR the day before my college graduation that May).
The Board is smaller, information can be gathered and disseminated quickly, and money is no longer spent so freely. The budget is tight as a drum and is, I think, being well managed considering the present financial circumstances.
JCR | Of all the NCRA Conferences you’ve attended, what has been your favorite and why?
LAB | 2018 in New Orleans was certainly a highlight because I won a bronze medal in the Realtime Contest, but I think my favorite time was at my first Board retreat before the Denver Conference in 2019. It was a really great bonding experience over three days, and I will never forget it. Now that things have changed after the pandemic, the Board isn’t meeting in person much at all, and I think a lot is lost with that.
JCR | What do you feel makes Ohio court reporters stand out compared to colleagues in other states?
LAB | I think every state has great leaders. It’s easy to figure that out when you go to the Conference. Ohio’s stenographers in particular have traditionally been a tight-knit, passionate group. Even those who have officially completed their leadership with the OCRA board still step up and help get things done when needed. Many of them move up to national service. Ohio has had more NCRA presidents than any other state, and we are a little bit proud of that. Plus, we put on wicked good conferences.
Lance A. Boardman, RDR, CRR, is an official court reporter from Cleveland, Ohio and NCRF Trustee. He can be reached at email@example.com.