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, or contact Angie Ritterpusch, Assistant Director ofProfessional Development at

Save the date for great NCRA learning opportunities

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 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:



Know before you

The Academy of Model Aeronautics

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

The Small UAV

NCRA’s TechCon offers opportunity to test for realtime and legal video specialists

NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator and Certified Legal Video Specialist training programs, to be held during TechCon, April 10-12, in Denver, Colo., include the opportunity to earn the RSA certificate and the CLVS certification.

To support new efforts to include more focus on the wireless environment for providing realtime in the Realtime Systems Administrator program, NCRA has announced that LiveDeposition, a global provider of local and cloud-based remote realtime streaming deposition and video conferencing solutions, will provide the routers used during the Realtime Systems Administrator exam. The Sherman Oaks, Calif.,-based company’s LocalRealtime system will be used in the exam.

This year’s TechCon offers court reporters information on the latest ways to connect to clients. The Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop will be held all day on April 10 and during the morning of April 11. The Realtime Systems Administrator Exam will be held during the afternoon of April 11, and people interested in signing up for a slot should do so early.

In addition, the RSA Committee will once again offer the Realtime Systems Administrator Prep Course for those not yet ready to take the workshop. The Prep Course will be held April 12.

The CLVS Seminar & Workshop will be also be held during TechCon. The required day of training for people who want to earn the CLVS certification is April 11, and the CLVS Council has available slots for the CLVS Production Exam for returning candidates on April 10-11. Experienced legal videographers may apply to take the CLVS Production Exam the day following the CLVS Seminar on April 12.

NCRA’s 2015 TechCon is the premier technology-focused event that promises cutting-edge sessions and workshops, including specialized educational tracks. TechCon sessions are always innovative, creative, and cutting edge and are led by dynamic and informative speakers who represent the top experts in their fields.

“TechCon is the best place to be for court reporters and videographers who want to integrate the latest technology into their business,” said Dana Hayden, CCR, RMR, CRR, a court reporter from Huntsville, Ark., and a member of NCRA’s Technology Committee.

NCRA’s TechCon 2015 is being held at The Curtis: A Doubletree Hotel by Hilton in Denver, Colo. For information, including more about the scheduled workshops or sessions, or to register, please visit

Not too late to attend NCRA’s 2014 Legal Video Conference

On-site registration is available for legal videographers of all levels who want to attend NCRA’s 2014 Legal Video Conference in Las Vegas, being held Oct. 17- 19. Join the more than 100 professionals already registered to attend the largest annual event designed specifically for this segment of the legal services industry. As always, the conference will offer several levels of continuing education programs, as well as certification testing for aspiring legal videographers.

The two-day conference will feature the CLVS Seminar, which is part of the certification requirements for CLVS candidates. For current CLVSs earning continuing education units, the schedule is packed with sessions that offer advanced training led by some of the best faculty in the profession, as well as representatives of legal service providers and vendors.

This year’s two-day CLVS Seminar for CLVS candidates includes an introduction to the legal video profession that will address the uses of video in the legal system, the duties of legal videographers, an overview of the types of video systems available, and video and audio equipment, video signals, equipment acquisition and management, and more. There will also be hands-on workshops to allow attendees to work directly with video and audio equipment.

“I am currently in training to take over the videographer position at my court reporting firm in Dallas, Texas, and I hope to take away some ideas for new technology and equipment from the conference,” said Eleanor Harris. “I’m anxious for the hands-on workshop especially since I am a beginning videographer.”

Other highlights of this year’s event include a Saturday Night Networking Reception and exhibitor booths where attendees will be able to learn first-hand about the latest in new products and technologies.

“Having the NCRA training and CLVS certification has always mattered to me and to my clients. They see the various certifications I’ve earned from the NCRA and, from that, trust that I’ll do quality work for them,” said Carla Letellier, RPR, from Buffalo, Ill.

“This year, I’m looking to not only sharpen my existing skills, but also become CLVS certified to provide new services to my clients. I’m expecting to come away from this conference with the tools and guidance needed to be a successful legal videographer,” added Letellier, who is President of Lake-Cook Reporting in Bannockburn, Ill.

Although online registration for the 2104 NCRA Legal Video Conference is closed, those still interested in attending can sign up on-site in Las Vegas. The conference is being held at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa. For room information, call the hotel at 866-837-4215.

Low price for knowledge shared at NCRA’s 2014 Legal Video Conference

Jared Henjum, a video production specialist assistant with HG Litigation Services in Dallas, Texas, is excited to attend NCRA’s 2014 Legal Video Conference, Las Vegas, Oct. 17-19. Henjum, who has passed the written CLVS test, will not only be taking the production skills test on-site but will also be assisting Joe Cerda, CLVS, who will be co-teaching a new session at the event that will outline what multi-input depositions are and how they have evolved over the years. Steve Crandall, J.D., CLVS, from Seattle, Wash., will also teach the course.

“I’ll be in attendance for all three days of the conference and am very excited to be a part of it all. I represent HG Litigation Services, and I work under Joe Cerda of HG and Trial Resource. We will both be there with deposition and trial equipment for Joe’s sessions,” said Henjum.

“NCRA is an outstanding organization and they rally the ‘niche’ professions together. I attended TechCon 2014 and had a blast, so I know the Legal Video Conference in Vegas will be yet another great opportunity to network with some of the industry’s finest,” he added.

For second-time attendee Craig E. Davis, CLVS, owner of Simeon T Group LLC., in Sparks, Nev., the event provides a valuable venue for expanding his education and contacts with other professionals.

“I’m attending this conference to update my knowledge of the industry and do a little networking to see what others are doing,” he said. “Not attending this conference would be a mistake for anyone doing legal videography. The price is very low for the knowledge being shared,” Davis said.

Attendees at this year’s Legal Video Conference can expect an array of sessions on the schedule that will highlight and demonstrate the latest in equipment trends and production techniques. NCRA’s Legal Video Conference serves as the place to be for professionals who are seeking the nationally recognized professional certification of Certified Legal Videographer, as well as seasoned experts who are seeking continuing education units or just the opportunity to stay abreast of what’s new in the industry.

This year’s event also welcomes two new faculty members to the program. They are Don Cely, CLVS, from Greenville, S.C., a videographer affiliated with Huntridge Legal Video Services, and Mike Bailey, RPR, CLVS, from Tulsa, Okla., owner of Bailey Reporting & Video, Inc.

“My video company needed to grow more into the video business. I have done weddings, funerals, training videos, concerts, and seminars,” said Reynaldo Abesamis, Jr., a videographer from Hayward, Calif., who is attending for the first time. “Attending the conference will help me understand and gain in-depth knowledge operating and managing my video business. Having the CLVS certification will be an additional benefit to my career.”

Although early-bird registration for the 2104 NCRA’s Legal Video Conference is closed, those still interested in attending can sign up online at or on-site in Las Vegas. The conference is being held at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa. For room information, call the hotel at 866-837-4215.

Legal video seminar offers video rookies valuable material

On the schedule for NCRA’s 2014 Legal Video Conference, The Video Signal session is perfect for those new to working in the legal video field who want a simple but valuable understanding of the video chain. The conference is being held at the Westin Hotel, Casino & Spa, Oct. 17-19 in Las Vegas and includes an array of sessions which will appeal to professionals of all levels of experience.

“The Video Signal class is for the newbies, people who don’t have a lot of video experience,” said Maureen Walsh, CLVS, who is leading the session. “I explain the video chain in simple, easy to understand terms—perfect for video rookies or court reporters who are trying to get their CLVS,” she added.

Walsh, an award-winning videographer and producer, is owner of Walsh Litigation Serves and Waterford Productions, a video production company. Both firms are located in Tallahassee, Fla. A CLVS since 2002, she is one of only 10 videographers nationwide who serve as faculty to train and test professional legal videographers for certification. She also holds NCRA’s Trial Presentation Professional certificate, and she is a Certified Trial Director Technician and a Certified Trial Director Trainer.

“Getting my CLVS was the best business decision that I have ever made. It was expensive up front, but it paid off quickly. Having a CLVS after your name tells your clients that you are a well-trained professional and that you take your work seriously.” she said.

According to Walsh, the CLVS referral network is extensive and active. She said that most of her work is generated by people who have hired her because she is a CLVS.

“There are other legal videography certifications out there, but they don’t generate the kind of work and referrals that you get with your CLVS. Quite simply, there is no substitute.”

Other session being offered at the 2014 Legal Video Conference will cover such topics as legal video 101, equipment acquisition and troubleshooting, civil procedures, paper trails, and more.

This year’s event also features two new faculty members. They are Don Cely, CLVS, from Greenville, S.C., a videographer affiliated with Huntridge Legal Video Services, and Mike Bailey, RPR, CLVS, from Tulsa, Okla., and owner of Bailey Reporting & Video, Inc.

Current CLVSs can earn up to 1.2 continuing education units, while attendees who hold an NCRA certification other than the CLVS can earn up to 1.8 continuing education units by attending all three days of the event.

Online and on-site registration is available for the 2104 NCRA’s Legal Video Conference.

NCRA 2013 Legal Video Conference

46-47NCRA’s 2013 inaugural Legal Video Conference, formerly known as the CLVS (Certified Legal Video Specialist) Symposium, attracted 139 attendees of all levels of ex­pertise from across the nation. The larg­est event in a decade designed specifically for this segment of the legal industry, the conference offered many levels of con­tinuing education programs for court re­porters. In addition, 19 attendees sat for the Association’s Certified Legal Video Production Exam to earn the CLVS cer­tification, compared to just seven under the previous event format in 2012.

The two-day conference featured both the CLVS Seminar, which is part of the certification requirements for NCRA-cer­tified legal videographers, and the Legal Video Forum, which offers advanced vid­eographers additional training. The con­ference also included educational sessions led by some of the best faculty in the pro­fession. The sessions covered a wide range of topics tailored to the needs of interme­diate to advanced-level videographers and provided a wealth of insight and informa­tion about the latest trends and advances in the legal video profession.

“The launch of the NCRA Legal Video Conference and its new format reflects a really positive shift in how we approach legal video education. While the CLVS Seminar is still the cornerstone of legal video standards, expanding our continu­ing education offerings will help our cur­rent CLVSs become more competitive in the marketplace. Response from this year’s attendees was overwhelmingly support­ive,” said Gene Betler, CLVS, who serves as co-chair of NCRA’s CLVS Council.

“The CLVS designation is the only national independently validated certi­fication for the legal video industry, and historically NCRA’s legal video event fea­tured a heavier focus on the introductory first step of the certification. The change in the overall curriculum to include more in-person seminars and enhanced continuing education opportunities is in line with the name change to the Legal Video Confer­ence,” added Bruce Balmer, CLVS, who also co-chairs the Association’s CLVS Council.

Other highlights of this year’s event included a Saturday Night Networking Reception, as well as visit exhibitor booths where attendees were able to learn first-hand about the latest in new products and technologies.