CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Adopted July 1999
- The court reporter shall avoid any appearance of conflict of interest by conducting himself with impartiality toward all participants in every case. He shall refrain from the acceptance or extension of gifts or favors in connection with this work. He shall disclose to the appropriate authority existing or past financial, business, professional, family or social relationships which might reasonably create an appearance of partiality.
- The court reporter shall preserve the confidentiality of information entrusted to his possession which is so classified and shall take whatever steps are necessary to ensure its security and privacy. He shall preserve and file his shorthand notes in an organized manner so that they may be retrieved, if needed, at a later date. These notes shall be retained for a period of not less than five years, unless otherwise specified by law or rule of court.
- The court reporter shall contribute to the integrity and impartiality of the judicial process or of any other proceeding by conducting himself in a manner that is fair and courteous to all participants. If he has not heard or understood a speaker, he shall, calmly and without inflection, ask him to repeat himself, but shall otherwise make all reasonable efforts to avoid the unnecessary interruption of proceedings.
- The court reporter shall strive to accept only those assignments where his levels of knowledge, skill and competency are such that they will result in the preparation of a complete and accurate transcript and shall, whenever possible, remove himself from an assignment where he believes his knowledge, skill and competency to be inadequate. He shall recommend or assign another reporter in his place only if, in his opinion, such reporter has the knowledge, skill and competency required for such assignment.
- The court reporter employed by or assigned to a court or other government organization shall refrain from the improper use of public property, materials, facilities, supplies or services for personal gain. He shall provide his time and services in return for the salary and fees received from his employer and shall assign a substitute reporter to replace him in his absence only with his employer's knowledge and consent.
- The court reporter shall act with diligence to complete and deliver transcripts in accordance with the provisions of court rules, if applicable, or within a reasonable time after they have been offered. A determination of what constitutes "reasonable time" shall take into consideration such factors as the length of the transcript to be delivered, the transcript backlog experienced by the reporter at the time of placement of the particular order, the time available for transcript preparation, and the availability of a replacement for the reporter involved. The court reporter shall refrain from promising transcript delivery dates he cannot reasonably expect to fulfill.
- The court reporter shall prepare a true and accurate transcript that is neat in appearance and has proper paragraphing, indentation, marginal limitations and number of lines. Except as specified by official rule, a full page of transcript should conform to the transcript format guidelines recommended by this Association, or the equivalent, and shall provide fair value to the user.
- The court reporter shall charge no more than a reasonable fee for those assignments where statutory charges do not apply. Determination of the reasonableness of the compensation requires consideration of many factors, including the nature of the services performed, the time required, the expenses to be incurred, the reporter's experience, ability and reputation, and the value of the service to the user. He shall agree with the user in advance, wherever feasible, on the amount of compensation or the basis of compensation. Except to the extent that the basis or amount of the fee is established by law, the court reporter shall set his fee in the exercise of his sole and independent discretion, and shall enter into no agreement with any other reporter, express or implied, on the basis or amount of any charges to any user.
- The court reporter who plans to assign or refer to another reporter who is not employed or associated with him all or some of the work of an assignment shall, whenever possible, notify the user in advance of that arrangement and give the name of the reporter and his qualifications. The compensation of the reporters involved in such an arrangement shall be based upon a division of service and/or responsibility.
- The court reporter, whenever making public statements, announcements or advertisements, shall provide truthful, accurate and adequate information that does not deceive or mislead the public about his qualifications and the services he provides.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OBJECTIVES
- The court reporter shall observe the law and maintain high standards of personal conduct.
- The court reporter recognizes his responsibility to the public interest and to his profession to contribute to the development and understanding of better ways to serve the interests of justice and to make a record of the proceedings that is true and accurate.
- The court reporter shall apply his knowledge and experience working in cooperation with the bench and the bar toward the improvement of the administration of justice.
- The court reporter should strive to perfect and enlarge his professional knowledge in addition to improving his skills.
- The court reporter who is employed as an official reporter shall recognize his responsibility and accountability to his employer and shall not undertake freelance work when such work conflicts with his official responsibilities.
- The court reporter should associate with organizations having as their objective the betterment of the court reporting profession in the public interest and contribute his time and funds to carrying on the work of these organizations.
- The court reporter should give just recognition to the work of his peers without distortion or discrimination.
- The court reporter shall not engage in commercial activities that conflict with his responsibilities to the persons he serves professionally.
- The court reporter who holds an official position in a court reporting association shall avoid the appearance of impropriety through the use of his position for self-aggrandizement.
RECOMMENDED TRANSCRIPT FORMAT GUIDELINES
(In those jurisdictions with transcript format guidelines recommended or established by court or other applicable rule, such guidelines shall be observed.)
- No fewer than 25 typed lines on standard 8&1/2x11-inch paper.
- No fewer than nine or ten characters to the typed inch.
- Left-hand margin should be set at no more than ¾ inches.
- Right-hand margin should be set at no more than 3/8 inch.
- Each question and answer should begin on a separate line.
- Each question and answer should begin at the left-hand margin, with no more than five spaces between the Q. and A. to the text.
- Carry-over Q. and A. lines should begin at the left-hand margin.
- Colloquy material should begin no more than 15 spaces from the left-hand margin.
- Quoted material should begin no more than 15 spaces from the left-hand margin, with carry-over lines to begin no more than 15 spaces from the left-hand margin.
- Parentheticals and exhibit markings should begin no more than 15 spaces from the left-hand margin, with carry-over lines to begin no more than 15 spaces from the land-hand margin.