Always been told it's our work product.  I've got a firm out there that's requesting it.  What do you all think?

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By "firm," do you mean the court reporting firm or the law firm/client?  Why do they want it?

I'm not sure if it's actually codified or if it's the CSR Board's guidelines, but by subpoena/court order only. It is work product. I would not release it without subpoena.

I wouldn't release it without a court order. 

Sorry.  Didn't have my six cups of morning coffee yet.  Janet is correct.  I would not release it without court order either.  Any Schmoe attorney could subpoena. I meant to say court order, and that is also what is provided by the CSR Board (not sure if codified.)

Thanks, Janet -- you just woke me up. :)

Ditto what Janet said. This happened to a friend of mine whose audio was on before depo started and atty was talking to his client and realized the reported recorded it. He went nuts. I don't think she realized it was on. There was thread IOC lawsuit. It got ugly. She wouldn't release without CO,
I'm on iPhone so forgive typos please.

I delete my audio once the job is turned it. Problem solved. If I did have it, though, I agree with the other ladies here: court order.

Same as Lisa.  I delete my as soon as the job is complete.

I would turn over my audio when the sun turns to ice.  Agree with all above.

Yvonne,

You've probably already made a decision on this subject, but this might help..

COPE Updates General Guidelines for Backup Audio Material

NCRA's Code of Professional Ethics General Guidelines has been modified to include a new section dealing with Backup Audio Material. The new section reads as follows:

Section VII: Backup Audio Media

Due to the complexities that may arise from the use of different forms of backup audio media, whether analog or digital, NCRA has developed guidelines to aid the court reporter in the use of this technology.

The latest innovation involves technology that has been developed for computer-aided translation (CAT) software, which allows for the simultaneous digital audio recording of judicial proceedings, often referred to as “audio synchronization,” and more commonly known as “backup audio media.”

When using any backup audio medium, the court reporter must comply with any applicable local, state and federal rules and/or laws to ensure the integrity of the record.  The court reporter’s duties and responsibilities do not change regarding preservation of the official record and in any respect with regard to: reading back from the stenographic notes (no playback of the recording in lieu of readback); interrupting the proceedings due to the speed of the testimony, unintelligible, and/or simultaneous speakers, etc.

Judicial court reporters frequently use the term “work product” when referring to their backup recordings.  “Work product” may be defined as a backup recording made by a court reporter at their discretion, and not otherwise ordered for preservation by any federal, state or local law and/or rule, and is the personal property of the court reporter.  There is no public entitlement to these recordings.

The following guidelines address the release of backup audio media.

A. Guidelines for Providing Backup Audio Media at the Request of an Attorney or Party to a Proceeding

  1. If the backup audio media is made available to any party in a case, it is the responsibility of the reporter to ensure that no confidential or off-the-record discussions are contained in the released recording.
  2. A reporting firm/agency may not require that a reporter produce the backup audio media (unless ordered to do so by a court).
  3. If the reporter decides to release the backup audio media, the reporter shall release a copy and not the original (unless ordered otherwise by a court).
  4. If the reporter makes available a copy of the backup audio media to one party, the same offer must be made to the other party(ies) to the proceeding.
  5. Reporters should check all applicable local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations to ensure that creating a backup audio media is in compliance with those laws, rules and regulations.
  6. If a reporter uses backup audio media, it should be preserved upon request by any party to the proceeding for the same period of time for which the reporter’s notes are preserved. The reporter may request that the party seek a court order before making it available.

B. Guidelines for Offering Backup Audio Media to Parties as a Value-Added Service

  1. If the reporter or member offers backup audio media as a value-added service, all parties should be advised prior to the start of the proceeding.
  2. If the backup audio media is provided as a value-added service, it is the responsibility of the reporter to ensure that such sound recording technique does not distort the oral proceedings and that no confidential or off-the-record discussions are contained in the released recording.
  3. If a reporter or member offers backup audio media as a value-added service, the reporter shall provide a copy to the requesting parties and preserve the original.
  4. If the reporter or member makes available a copy of the backup audio media to one party, the same offer must be made to the other party(ies) to the proceeding.
  5. Reporters and members should check all applicable local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations to ensure that creating a backup audio media is in compliance with those laws, rules and regulations.

To learn more about NCRA's Code of Professional Ethics, or read the General Guidelines in their entirety, please visit the " target="_blank">COPE area of the NCRA Web Site.

thank you my friend.  it was requested by the cr firm and I've dealt with the request.

hope all is well with you and your recent endeavor!

An agency I've done work for is now asking for reporters to supply their audio on videotaped jobs.  I told them I wasn't comfortable with that and asked why.  They said it's because they had a video job where the audio was unusable and they needed it to sync the transcript and assured me they would not be sending it out anywhere.  They want it in case this situation comes up again.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  Thoughts?

Sorry, but I think that's a lame/phony excuse on the CR firm's part. It should become clear very quickly (to the reporter and/or firm) if/when the audio by the videographer is unusable.  Should that arise, it should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis as to whether the reporter should turn over the audio for purposes of "syncing." The blanket request/instruction/demand for the reporter's audio on all video jobs, I think, is fishy, and I would not agree to it. Fishy or not, I still would not turn it over for ALL video jobs.  I'd rather just turn down videotaped depos, IMHO.

If you were to turn over the audio with all videotaped jobs, you'd need to make sure there are no off-the-record discussions included.  Too much work, not good enough reason.

Just one more thing:  In all my years of practice, this has never happened to me, and this is the first I've heard of it happening to any reporter/video job. The point I'm making is that this is a rare occurrence, and only under these circumstances should the reporter be "requested" to turn over the audio . . . IF any exists.

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