It’s All About Ethics: NCRA Stands by Its Actions on Contracting
NCRA was disappointed to learn that five court reporting and legal services firms have attacked Arizona, Arkansas, and Nevada in their sovereign efforts to preserve the neutrality and impartiality of court reporters as officers of the court in those states. Arguing that their businesses are suffering from anticompetitive contracting restrictions, these five firms filed a complaint with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice on April 23, 2013, in which they asked for the Arkansas and Nevada activities to be “investigated.” The same day, one of the five firms, Magna Legal Services, LLC, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that contracting restrictions in Arizona are unconstitutional. Although NCRA is not the direct target of either the DOJ complaint or federal lawsuit, these firms in their public statement have accused NCRA of having “spearheaded” a national effort “to enact anticompetitive laws that restrain trade in the court reporting industry.”
NCRA believes that the focus should be on ethics, not money. Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, and other states have the sovereign right and responsibility to make sure that court reporters are neutral and impartial, both in fact and appearance. The integrity of the judicial process and the confidence of the people under our rule of law require no less.
There is no basis for the allegations being put forward by these firms, and NCRA’s activities are in full compliance with the law. NCRA is constitutionally protected in its efforts to support state legislation that will preserve the integrity of the legal system by ensuring the neutral and impartial role of court reporters in the administration of justice as officers of the court and guardians of the record.