Section J: Position Statements - Subsection 4: Third-Party Contracting
POLICY: Third-Party Contracting
|Motion 95-07-08 – Disclosure Obligations||
Adopted: July 1995
Reaffirmed: July 2011
- A court reporter shall always disclose to all parties present at a deposition the existence of any direct or indirect contracting relationship with any attorney or party to the case, so that the other parties may exercise their rights under Rules 28(c), 29 and 32(d)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and comparable state and local laws, to object to the taking of the deposition because of the possible disqualification of the court reporter. This disclosure shall include the identity of all principals and agents involved in the contracting group as well as a description of all services being performed by such court reporter, his or her employer, or any principal or agent of the contracting group. It is the court reporter's obligation to make reasonable inquiries and ascertain this information before accepting any assignment.
- A court reporter shall always offer to provide comparable services to all parties in a case. However, nothing in this policy is intended to allow court reporters to directly or indirectly exchange information with competitors about the prices they charge, or to discourage in any other way competition in the services offered or prices charged by court reporters.
- A court reporter shall not, in act or appearance, indicate that the court reporter is participating as part of an advocacy support team for any one of the parties.
- A court reporter shall always comply with federal, state and local laws and rules that govern the conduct of court reporters (such as those that deal with certification, confidentiality and custody of transcripts, and contracting).
|Motion 97-11-08 – Policy in Support of Enactment of Anti-contracting Laws or Regulations||
Adopted: November 1997
Reaffirmed: July 2011
Whereas, NCRA has long been concerned with the practice under which court reporters enter into contracts for court reporting services. The basis of this concern arises from ethical rules and laws that require reporters to maintain impartiality and independence in their capacity as officers of the court.
Whereas, in 1995, after review by the United States Department of Justice, NCRA issued a Contracting Disclosure Policy. This Contracting Disclosure Policy requires a court reporter to disclose to all parties present at a deposition the existence of any direct or indirect contracting relationship with any attorney or party to the case. The Contracting Disclosure Policy also requires a court reporter to offer comparable services to all parties in a case and prohibits a court reporter from acting or appearing to act in any proceeding on behalf of any one of the parties.
Whereas, NCRA also has issued several Advisory Opinions which address aspects of certain contracting arrangements under NCRA's Code of Professional Ethics.
Whereas, NCRA's members and affiliated organizations increasingly have expressed their concern about contracting and have contacted NCRA to request information and assistance on methods and means by which they can access legislatures and governmental rule-making bodies in order to lobby for legislation, regulations and/or rules to limit or prohibit contracting arrangements.
Whereas, a number of states have enacted or are considering laws or court rules that limit or prohibit contracting arrangements, or require full disclosure to all parties of the existence of such contracting arrangements.
Whereas, NCRA believes that such laws and court rules are the best way to address the ethical and legal problems raised by contracting arrangements.
Now, therefore, it is MOVED, seconded and carried that NCRA lobby at the state and federal level and work with its affiliated organizations and coalitions at the state level to seek the enactment of laws and court rules that will limit or prohibit contracting arrangements in order to maintain the impartiality and independence of court reporters in their capacity as officers of the court.
*/ By way of example, a financial or other interest that could give rise to a conflict of interest might include an equity or other ownership interest, a paid consulting agreement or other business arrangement with a vendor associated with the court reporting, CART or captioning industry. Among other things, this would cover the receipt of consulting or appearance fees, travel expenses, sales commissions, royalty payments for the sale or licensing of hardware or software technology, etc. Normally, participation in user groups and beta testing (where the equipment is returned) would not be included or require disclosure. However, conflicts of interest are not limited to formal financial partnerships or arrangements. Any management position or leadership role with decision-making authority (whether voluntary or for compensation) with any board, business network, consulting contract or other business relationship in the court reporting profession or related professional specialties (e.g.; CART, captioning) could potentially give rise to a conflict and should be disclosed.