New Realtime Systems Administrators announced

NCRA announced its latest class of Realtime Systems Administrators, who completed the test at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo in Chicago, Ill. They were:

Jennifer L. Bernier, RPR, CRR, Chicago, IL

Susan Dezelan, RDR, CRR, CRC, Indianapolis, IN

Garreth Ferguson, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Keith Johnson, RDR, CRR, CRC, Dallas, TX

Charisse Kitt, RMR, CRI, Somerset, NJ

Laura J. Landerman, RMR, CRR, Altamonte Springs, FL

Margaret Mary Kruse, RMR, CRR, Chicago, IL

April M. Metzler, RPR, CRR, Schaumburg, IL

Deanne M. Moore, RMR, CRR, Jacksonville, FL

Linda D. Riffle, RDR, CRR, Columbus, OH

Renee Combs Quinby, RMR, CRR, Fenton, MO

Victoria L. Valine, RMR, CRR, West Sacramento, CA

Lynn Van Den Hende, RMR, CRR, Sunnyside, NY

Jessica Rhae Waack, RDR, CRR, Brooklyn, NY

Brook Young, CLVS, Seattle, WA


Sign up now for the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo

man tangled in cordsThe Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop and Exam are being offered during the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, Aug. 4-7 in Chicago, Ill. This workshop provides firm owners, IT support staff, freelance reporters, and official reporters with the boost they need to improve their professional marketability and technical proficiency. Registration information for the workshop and the Convention & Expo, as well as a schedule at a glance, can be found at

The day-and-a-half workshop focuses on all aspects of realtime hookups and litigation support that rely on realtime connections, including cutting-edge wireless realtime. Attendees will learn how to quickly troubleshoot realtime issues, based on real-world scenarios, as well as explore all aspects of connectivity from serial communication to more advanced networking concepts, including wireless connectivity. Workshop attendees who pass the Exam will earn the Realtime Systems Administrator certificate.

“I thought I knew everything I needed to know about realtime since I do it all the time and have for many years. But that’s not true,” says Lori Byrd, RPR, CRR, an official court reporter from Winfield, Kan.

“One of the biggest reasons I keep seeking some kind of upgraded certification is because of something a court reporting friend once told me: a 30-year-old certificate doesn’t mean as much as a fresh one. A reporter who continually seeks to better himself or herself is more the type of reporter I would want to hire if I were looking for one. I want to do top-of-the-line work, so I feel strongly I need to be a top-of-the-line reporter,” Byrd adds.

NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator Program and Exam were developed and are implemented by the absolute experts within the field of producing realtime writing. The curriculum includes a two-step process: A lecture-based workshop is followed by a practical exam of a candidate’s ability to perform the duties of a realtime systems expert in real-world situations. Key components of the program and the text include: computer basics, connectivity basics, serial products, streaming products, and troubleshooting scenarios.

“I have been providing realtime hookups since 1989, and I felt it would be beneficial to have this certification so that attorneys coming into my service area will have a greater comfort zone about the quality of the realtime they will receive,” said Ginger H. Brooks, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Jackson, Miss.

While there are no prerequisites for NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop, candidates should have a basic knowledge of realtime and a strong knowledge of their hardware, software, and equipment. Each workshop participant receives a copy of NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator Guide, which mirrors the program’s curriculum and provides in-depth information on a range of related topics.

“It was a great opportunity to have a refresher course,” says Brooks. “It has given me an opportunity to discuss with prospective clients our state organization, NCRA, and the benefits of hiring a qualified realtime reporter for depositions. You may feel that you do not need this certificate, but there is always something new to be learned.”

For more information and to register for the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop and the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, visit

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.

REALTIME SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR: Testing made easier with addition of WiFi option

Ginger Brooks, RPR, CRR, a freelancer and agency owner based in Jackson, Miss., signed up for NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator Program and earned her certificate by creating a WiFi connection to the iPad for the realtime feed. Brooks was the first person to earn the RSA using a WiFi connection, which was introduced at the 2015 NCRA TechCon. “The introduction of this connection option will actually make the test easier as there are fewer problems to troubleshoot with an iPad,” said Brooks.

Brooks offered the following insights in the Realtime Systems Administrator program and test.

JCR: Why did you decide to take the RSA workshop and test?

GB: I believe that certifications speak volumes when prospective clients are in need of realtime reporters. It sets you apart from others in the field and instills a degree of confidence in the client that they will have what they need when they arrive at the deposition.

JCR: What did you expect from the workshop, and did you get that experience?

GB: I always enjoy attending NCRA-sponsored workshops as I am exposed to other reporters with different experiences and knowledge. I always take something away with me that is beneficial. The Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop did not disappoint. We had two very knowledgeable instructors in James Woitalla, RDR, CRI, and Keith Lemons, RPR, CRR. I have been offering realtime in the deposition setting since 1989, but I still found the information they presented very useful. So, no matter if you’re just beginning to offer realtime services or have been doing it for a while, you will leave with helpful information.

JCR: What was the test experience like for you?

GB: It’s different from other tests I have taken in that someone is standing over your shoulder watching everything you do. It’s their job to set traps that make you work for successful connections. I think as tests go that it was much less stressful than other tests I’ve taken.

JCR: Why would you recommend the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop and Test to others?

GB: It’s always nice to be current on the services that you offer to your clients. If you’re new to connecting clients to realtime, this workshop will teach you how to deal with all the problems that you may encounter on the job. If you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s a great refresher course.

JCR: What advice would you offer to those taking the test?

GB: Go in with a strategy and stick with it. Assess the table thoroughly before you start the test. Be sure to download the receive programs that are sent out in the email that you receive so that you will be familiar with them before the test. Do not hesitate to actively participate in the workshop. If you have questions, ask them.

The next opportunity to participate in NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop is during NCRA’s Convention & Expo in New York City. The Workshop will be held July 30-31, with the opportunity to schedule times for the test during the afternoon on July 31. See for more information.

New Realtime Systems Administrators announced

NCRA announced its latest class of Realtime Systems Administrators, who completed the test at the 2015 NCRA TechCon event in Denver, Colo. They were:

Advilda Maria Beesley, RMR
Ginger Hall Brooks, RPR, CRR
Lisa A. Buell, RPR, CRR
Lori Byrd, RPR, CRR
Margie R. Dauster, RMR, CRR
Kimberly A. Fontalvo, RPR
James Gorski, CLVS
Leeann Keenan, RMR, CRR
Marc Lykken, CLVS
Toni C. O’Neill, RPR
Tyler Sibol
Kore Siegel
Katherine M. Stride, RPR
Kristin M. Vickery

Make the trip to the Mile High City and learn about the latest in technology

NCRA’s 2015 TechCon event takes place this year in Denver, Colo., April 10-12, and promises a line-up of sessions designed to deliver the latest in technology, trends, and tips to help professionals from the court reporting and legal videography fields boost their technical and marketing skills.

TechCon is the leading technology-focused event that promises cutting-edge sessions and workshops, including specialized educational tracks such as the Certified Legal Video Specialist Seminar and the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop, which helps boost the value of CLVSs by increasing their skills related to dealing with variations of realtime systems including hook-ups. Also on the schedule this year is the RSA Prep Course designed to provide attendees with the information they will need to ensure success when taking the RSA Workshop.

Participants in the Legal Tech Lab can expect to learn more about creating an effective networking environment from NCRA member Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Littleton, Colo. According to Knight, who also chairs NCRA’s TRAIN Task Force, participants will be introduced to an array of different networking environments, including LAN, WAN, Connectify, hotspots, and Jetpacks, that can be used to output realtime feeds.

“Attendees will be able to identify and create a networking environment that is best for them for realtime settings, including CART, streaming realtime feed over the Internet, or providing local realtime in a deposition or courtroom setting,” said Knight. “They will also learn how to easily change the settings on their personal routers with confidence each time they do it.”

Other topics scheduled to be covered during the Legal Tech Labs sessions include a panel discussion of best practices of remote reporting, overcoming the fear of realtime reporting, tools and tips to market technology, and live editing realtime.

“TechCon is at it again, assembling the pros to share their best tips on producing daily copies and rough drafts,” said Sue Terry, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Springfield, Ohio. Terry, who also serves on NCRA’s Board of Directors, will co-lead a live editing realtime session.

“No matter which system you’re on, all are quite capable of producing work quickly for a scopist to pick up or even edit live. Come to this session for a discussion and demonstration of the best methods to complete your daily copy or rough drafts, and leave with a thorough understanding of the best practices for the fasted edition of transcripts when working with a live or remote scopist,” she added.

“Listen firsthand to reporters who write realtime on every job, and learn their secrets for creating practically perfect realtime output in the most challenging of situations,” added Knight, who is also co-leading the live editing realtime session.

Other highlights on this year’s program include an informal networking session and the Vendor Speed Dating session where attendees can get to know the vendors who provide services and products to the court reporting profession.

Register now to join colleagues, peers, and new acquaintances from the court reporting and legal videographer fields, as well as other legal professionals, all looking to increase their skills and earn CEUs while learning about the latest in technology. 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 The hotel deadline has now been extended to March 23.

TIP OF THE MONTH: Realtime USB tips and tricks

By Keith Lemons

Are you realtiming for yourself or for others? How do you know what USB port is which? Windows boxes are all fairly standard in that if you install a USB peripheral in a particular USB port, it will always use that physical port’s settings.

Let’s say you have a laptop with four USB ports. You set up your writer on the one closest to you and the setup program assigns a COM Port 3, in my example. If you plug your writer into that physical port, it will always be COM Port 3. You have just configured that physical port, but only that physical port. The other 3 have not been configured for your writer. So always plug into that port. I’m going to make the intuitive leap that you will then go into your CAT system and note what port your writer is sending from. If not, here is the two-minute warning. Know your CAT system well enough that you know how to label which port goes in and which one goes out.

Next, take a look at what you may have to plug into your other USB physical ports, such as a software key, a wireless mouse, a Bluetooth dongle, a realtime cable, or something else. You have to know which port you plug them into because you are configuring only that port for that particular peripheral.

Here’s a good thing for you to do if your realtime is infrequent and you are scared you’ll forget what the numbers are. Make a little sticker to put in your case or on your machine or on your computer, or in your courtroom desk drawer, if you have one. On that card or sticker, put the following information:

  1. The name of your wireless network, and your password, or if you are scared to put down the password, what a memory question would be to ensure that you remember it.
  2. The COM port numbers and location on your computer of the USB peripherals; e.g., front left – machine – COM 8; front right – USB mouse; back right – Bluetooth – COM 6; back left – CAT dongle.
  3. The password to your Caseview Net or Bridge or Bridge Mobile or other realtime receive software that you have to issue to the clients so they can receive your realtime.
  4. Get the Realtime Troubleshooting Pocket Guide at the NCRA store. This was written by the Realtime Systems Administrator committee (specifically Sandy VanderPol, RMR, CRR), and I will tell you, it’s worth the $52. This will help you troubleshoot connections to different software problems.

Keith Lemons, RPR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter in Brentwood, Texas, and a JCR Contributing Editor. He can be reached at

Connecting your client to realtime – overcome the fear factor!

For those of you who have decided against providing realtime to your clients because of the added pressure of troubleshooting, fear no more!

By Sandy VanderPol

Connect client to realtimeDon’t be overcome by the fear factor of troubleshooting your realtime connections. The good news is that with the various options now available to output your realtime, the vendors updating their receive software, and the resources now available for troubleshooting, it’s a breeze to have an almost 100 percent connection success.

Over the past few years, and certainly over the last year, our realtime vendors have created an environment that provides success in realtime connections. With the various options available to output your realtime, you get to make the choice: cables, Bluetooth, WiFi Remote (called a WAN), or WiFi Local (called a LAN).

More good news! Realtime receive vendors now make it easy to detect which COM port your realtime is feeding through to your client. The Windows Device Manager, a necessity to know and understand thoroughly, is now replaced with the smart software. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to maneuver your way through Windows and get to the Device Manager. It means that less often will you need to troubleshoot the COM port settings. News of this update alone should alleviate most everyone’s fear of providing realtime.

Every court reporter should now have the resources to access the information to be confident in connecting clients to realtime 100 percent of the time.

One such resource is the Realtime Troubleshooting Pocket Guide, Version 2, which has step-by-step directions to successfully hook up to any receive software, whether you are using the Windows XP, 7, or 8 operating system. You can buy this valuable resource in the NCRA Store.

Another valuable resource available to educate yourself on troubleshooting realtime:  the Realtime Systems Administrators Workshop and Exam. The workshop delves into the troubleshooting basics of cable to WiFi connections and realtime setups. The workshop takes place at NCRA’s TechCon and the Annual Convention & Expo. Make the personal commitment – sign up now!

Be confident in your realtime troubleshooting skills. Take advantage of the many resources and opportunities available to you to reach your potential and become the most important person in the courtroom or deposition:  a proficient realtime reporter who has the education and resources to connect 100 percent of the time!

Sandy VanderPol, RMR, CRR, who is also a Realtime Systems Administrator, is a freelance reporter in Lotus, Calif., and a member of the Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate Committee. She can be reached at

The Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop and Exam is offered at NCRA’s TechCon and the NCRA Convention & Expo.

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

LiveDeposition to play role in NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator certificate program

LiveDeposition, a leading provider of local and cloud-based remote realtime streaming solutions for the legal industry, issued a press release on Feb. 19 to announce that its LocalRealtime system will be used by the National Court Reporters Association during its Realtime Systems Administrator exam being offered at the Association’s 2015 TechCon event, April 10-12 in Denver, Colo.

Read more.