A code of ethics is important in any profession, but it is especially important in court reporting, as the work of court reporters can influence how cases in the court of law transpire.
Therefore, owners of court reporting firms can benefit from implementing ethical standards, such as the following:
- Maintain impartiality: Court reporters in Phoenix, AZ are court officers, which means it is crucial for all court reporters and owners of court reporting firms to ensure the work of the reporters is as independent and impartial as possible. The point is to guarantee an accurate record, not to insert any agenda into a particular case.
- Require court reporters to transcribe back-ordered transcripts: Only have someone else proceed with transcribing notes taken by a court reporter if the reporter is unavailable due to disability, death or simply cannot be reached after taking legitimate efforts to get in touch. If the reporter was not the one who transcribed the deposition, do not indicate they did so.
- Do not sell reporters’ transcripts without the reporter’s knowledge: A court reporting agency should never, without the knowledge of the reporter, sell that reporter’s transcripts for the financial benefit of the firm, and at the expense of the reporter. Reporters should be fairly compensated for their work.
- Avoid any hint of impropriety: Court reporting agencies should disclose any contracts they have with any parties to the case in an on-the-record statement at every deposition, including any special rates charged to the party to that contract. This is required in some states, but it’s generally just a good practice for any firm in any state to follow.
- Regularly reinforce the importance of ethical behavior: Court reporting agencies should provide ethics training to all reporters and frequently emphasize how important it is to behave in an ethical manner. Having organization-wide buy-in for standard ethical practices is important in running an organization.
- Avoid gift-giving issues: Gift giving should not surpass $25 per case and $100 total for the year for each client, in accordance with IRS guidelines. Some firms discourage any kind of gift giving just to entirely avoid any sort of appearance of impropriety. In addition, if you do give gifts, there should never be an implied “quid pro quo” for work given. Make sure you educate your clients regarding the consequences of excessive gift giving and the possible implications those gifts could have on their taxes—the gift might be considered property of the client, not of an attorney or staff.
These are just a few examples of some common ethical standards put in place by court reporting agencies. Again, as officers of the court, it is extremely important for all court reporters to be independent, impartial and professional in all of their work. To learn more about the various ethical standards associated with court reporting, we encourage you to contact a court reporter in Phoenix, AZ today at Bartelt | Nix Reporting LLC. We are happy to answer any questions you have for our team.
Categorised in: Court Reporting
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