Hi All,

For sometime I have had  questions with regard to the new NCRA court reporter ethics as promulagated by NCRA.

 

The new ethics promulgated by NCRA say that all parties must be given the same services and charged the same price or else the court reporter would not be impartial and thus in violation of the ethics promulgated by NCRA.

 

When I worked in civil court years ago it was common for an insurance company lawyer to file an appeal when they lost a case. 

 

 The costs to the plaintiff to fight the appeal would be so much that many times the plaintiffs would settle the case for a lower amount than the jury verdict.

 

So in one case I gave a defendant a $600 transcript and didn't charge him for it. 

 

I was being generous.

 

Was my action unethical, or can a court reporter be generous?

 

Was the insurance company prejudiced by my giving away a free transcript?

 

Did my actions in any way affect the legal issues upon which cases are supposed to be decided?

 

Also under the new NCRA ethics I have been told a court reporter cannot read any portion of his notes to any counsel unless the court reporter notifies the opposing counsel and allows him to be present at the readback.

 

Now in the days of the old ethics I would read back notes to either counsel as requested, and I never informed the opposing counsel I am having a readback of my notes, would you like to be present?

 

I have been told it is unethical to read back notes to either counsel unless both counsel are present and able to hear the testmony excerpt being asked to be read back by the court reporter.

 

I have been told under the new NCRA ethics I cannot prepare a full transcript or short transcript excerpt and not notify the opposing side that a transcript has been prepared so they can have the opportunity to purchase that transcript.

 

Now in the old days the state's attorney in criminal cases would order transcript excerpts all the time and I never went to defense counsel and told them the state's attorney has a transcript, so I must provide you the opportunity to order the transcript excerpt the state's attorney has ordered.

 

Now as I understood it in criminal cases there were court hearings and judges decided on what parts of the state's attorney's files the defense counsel may see.

 

Anyway I have always been puzzled by the new NCRA ethics, and the above are some of my questions.

 

Bill

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I wasn't even sure where to put this reply.  But for what it's worth, this is from California:

CRB Code of Conduct Text
Section 2475 - Professional Standards of Practice
COURT REPORTERS BOARD OF CALIFORNIA


ORDER OF ADOPTION - FINAL REGULATORY TEXT EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 10, 2007

Article 8. Denial, Suspension and Revocation of Certificates
Adopt Section 2475 as follows:

§ 2475. Professional Standards of Practice.

(5) In addition to the requirements of Section 2025.220(a)(5) of the Code of Civil Procedure, promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding and/or their attorneys of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, including a rough draft, in electronic or paper form. No such notification is necessary when the request is from the court.
(6) Act without bias toward, or prejudice against, any parties and/or their attorneys.
(7) Not enter into, arrange, or participate in a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the certified shorthand reporter, including, but not limited to, a relationship in which compensation for reporting services is based upon the outcome of the proceeding.

Hi Cynthia,

Many thanks for sharing the California Court Reporters Board regulation.  The California Court Reporters Board exactly follows NCRA's guidance in setting up its regulations as you have posted the regulation.

 I believe there are two court reporters on the board and three non-court reporters, and that board has employees.

My question is:  Why is the regulation written as applying to only civil proceedings with no mention of criminal proceedings?

It would seem the California regulation has no application to the conduct of California court reporters working in the California criminal courts.

Best Regards, Bill 

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