Certified Shorthand Reporters' ethical obligations in California

Court Reporters’ Legal Obligations – California Code of Regulation

Below is the language that court reporters are to adhere to in California. I have summarized Items 1 through 8 to simplify the regulation for court reporters and attorneys.

Summary:

  1. Court reporters are to make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services rendered to the public.
  2. Maintain confidentiality of information.
  3. Perform professional services competently. If you determine you are not competent, notify the parties present or the presiding official (judge). The court reporter may continue if all parties present stipulate or upon an order of the presiding official.
  4. Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of any delays.
  5. Promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding of any request for the preparation of all or any part of a transcript and/or rough draft. (No such notification is necessary if it comes from the Court.)
  6. Act without bias or prejudice against any party or their attorney
  7. Do not enter into a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the CSR, including if compensation is based on the outcome of a proceeding.
  8. Do not give or receive any gift in the aggregate that is more than $100 in a calendar year.

 

FAQs:

Q.  Do I have to put my CSR number on all of my emails after my name and on invoices to the agencies I work for?

A.  In reading No. 1, yes, you proudly will put your CSR number on all professional correspondence after your name.

Q. Do I have to tell the attorneys if the judge asks me to provide a transcript or rough draft?

A.  In reading No. 5, “No such notification is necessary if the request comes from the Court.”

Q.  When I am in court and report a civil trial or hearing, and an attorney asks me to get them a transcript or rough draft, but not to tell opposing counsel, can I do that?

A.  Once again in reading No. 5, the court reporter is to advise all parties if a transcript or rough draft is ordered when reasonably able to do so.

Q.  I cannot keep up with the witness and the attorney has a thick accent. I don’t think I can produce a record. What do I do?

A. According to No. 3, notify everyone. If they stipulate to allow you to continue (writing to the best of your ability) you may continue. (Good luck.)

Q. Is it true that we are not supposed to give a gift that is more than $100 per year to an attorney, legal secretary or paralegal that we do business with?

A.  No. 8 goes into detail about gift-giving, which is a chronic problem in our industry.

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CA Code of Regulation, Title 16, Division 24, Article 8, section 2475:

 

(a) Consistent with any action that may be taken by the Board pursuant to Sections 8025 and 8025.1 of the Code, the Board may cite a business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401 or cite or discipline any certificate holder, including suspending, revoking, or denying the certification of a certified shorthand reporter, for violation of professional standards of practice.

(b) Every person under the jurisdiction of the Board who holds a license or certificate, or temporary license or certificate, or business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401, shall comply with the following professional standards of practice:

(1) Make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services offered to the public.

(2) Maintain confidentiality of information which is confidential as a result of rule, regulation, statute, court order, or deposition proceedings.

(3) Perform professional services within the scope of one’s competence, including promptly notifying the parties present or the presiding officer upon determining that one is not competent to continue an assignment. A licensee may continue to report proceedings after such notification upon stipulation on the record of all parties present or upon order of the presiding officer.

(4) Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of delays.

(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.

(8) Other than the receipt of compensation for reporting services, neither directly or indirectly give nor receive any gift, incentive, reward, or anything of value to or from any person or entity associated with a proceeding being reported. Such persons or entities shall include, but are not limited to, attorneys or an attorney’s family members, employees of attorneys or an employee’s family members, law firms as single entities, clients, witnesses, insurers, underwriters, or any agents or representatives thereof. Exceptions to the foregoing restriction shall be as follows: (A) giving or receiving items that do not exceed $100 (in the aggregate for any combination of items given and/or received) per calendar year to or from an attorney or an attorney’s family members, an employee of an attorney or an employee’s family members, a law firm as a single entity, a client, a witness, an insurer, an underwriter, or any agent or representative thereof; or (B) providing services without charge for which the certified shorthand reporter reasonably expects to be reimbursed from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund, Sections 8030 et seq. of the Code, or otherwise for an “indigent person” as defined in Section 8030.4(f) of the Code.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.

 

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