COPE - Advisory Opinions


Advisory Opinion Procedures

Any member in good standing may submit a request for an Advisory Opinion to the Committee on Professional Ethics.

Advisory Opinions shall consist of (1) Private Advisory Opinions and (2) Public Advisory Opinions.


Private Advisory Opinions

  1. A Private Advisory Opinion may be requested in lieu of proceeding with a complaint, as provided in Section A(3) of the Complaint Procedures, or by persons who seek guidance as to whether certain actions or conduct are permitted under the Code of Professional Ethics.
  2. The Committee shall keep confidential the identity of the person or persons making the request and the identity of those names in the request, unless otherwise directed by the Board of Directors.
  3. The Committee's response to requests for Private Advisory Opinions shall be within the limitations of the information received by the Committee.  Additional information may be requested by the Committee, if needed.

Public Advisory Opinions

  1. The Committee may from time to time recommend publication of Public Advisory Opinions that illuminate one or more of the provisions of the Code of Professional Ethics.  These opinions may be based on facts derived from requested Private Advisory Opinions, deleting reference to names or places, or on an assumed state of facts.


The Board of Directors may review any Private or Public Advisory Opinion on its own motion and adopt, modify, or reject it in whole or in part.


Advisory Opinion Index

  1. Filing extension on appeal to accept freelance assignments
  2. Reporter's relationship to litigants 
  3. Reporting for a spouse's law firm
  4. Altering the official record
  5. Failing to pay a substitute reporter
  6. Going On and Off the Record
  7. Rescinded 2005
  8. Selling transcript copies from a private meeting
  9. Selling the transcript to third parties/When is a deposition a public record
  10. Agency transcribing depositions taken by reporters no longer with the firm
  11. Rescinded in 2013
  12. Rescinded in 2013
  13. Rescinded 2005; See Advisory Opinion 45
  14. Rescinded in 2013
  15. Determining the order of transcript delivery and/or Submitting transcripts to third parties to distribute
  16. Combined with No. 15
  17. Using contingent fee arrangements
  18. Rescinded in 2000
  19. Certification of Hard Copy and Electronic Transcripts and Electronic Transmission of Transcripts
  20. Timely Delivery of Transcript
  21. Rescinded in 2013
  22. Providing excerpted portions of the testimony
  23. Preparing "off the record" comments
  24. Providing attorney names/addresses of certain deposition transcripts to third parties
  25. Releasing steno notes to third parties
  26. Selling transcript copies of an open or public meeting
  27. Rescinded 2009 See Advisory Opinion 45
  28. Transcribing against the wishes of counsel
  29. Responsibility of Agency Owners for the Competence and Ethical Conduct of Member and non-Member Reporters Whom They Hire
  30. Rescinded 2014
  31. Reporter's Description on the record of Nonverbal Communications, Events, or Gestures
  32. Preparation of deposition summaries
  33. Combined with No. 10
  34. Certifying a transcript from a source other than directly from the reporter
  35. Providing the official transcript of a proceeding to the hiring party
  36. Reporting a deposition where the witness is appearing by telephone
  37. Combined with No. 19
  38. Attorney Requests a Copy of a Reporter's Backup Audio Media
  39. Holding a Transcript Hostage
  40. Rescinded 2014; See Advisory Opinion No. 19
  41. Rescinded 2006
  42. Combined with No. 6
  43. Providing Trial Presentation Services
  44. Should a Court Reporter Act as Both The Verbatim Reporter and the Videographer for the Same Proceeding
  45. Guidance on Gift Giving Rules
  46. Further Guidance on Gift Giving
  47. Inclusion into the Transcript of Comments Picked up by Videotape but not Heard by Reporter
  48. Duty to notify all parties when Transcript Order has been placed