Code of Ethics & Professional Integrity for Court Reporters: All You Need to Know

Code of Ethics with Court Reporters

The production of transcripts of legal processes is the principal responsibility of court reporters. It includes both in-court hearings and out-of-court depositions. However, the output of correct transcripts is insufficient; there are other ethical issues that court reporters need to consider to preserve the honor of their profession and stay compliant. This article explains how accountability for professional integrity for court reporters is so critical to the legal process.

The Importance of the Court Reporter’s Role

The court reporter has to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the legal process as the official record-keeper of court proceedings. They are trained professionals who use specialized equipment to record everything said in court verbatim. 

Court reporters also ensure accurate records by using their specialized skills to produce documents written with clear words and sentences. When lawyers or judges make decisions about cases utilizing the information they heard during hearings, they need clear and readable records.

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Sets Standards for Court Reporters

The NCRA is a professional association for court reporters in the United States. The NCRA promotes integrity, ethics, and professionalism among its members. The NCRA has a code of conduct that should be adhered to by all members. 

This code includes standards for ethical behavior, such as honesty, fairness, and respect for others. Violating the code of conduct can result in disciplinary action from the NCRA, including expulsion from the organization.

Capturing and Maintaining an Unbiased Record

Court reporters play an essential role in any legal system by providing an accurate record of proceedings. To maintain the integrity of this record, court reporters must adhere to a strict code of ethics. This code includes principles such as honesty, impartiality, confidentiality, and accuracy. A court reporter should also be able to listen well, understand English grammar, and take notes accurately and quickly.

Remaining Impartial

Court reporters must be impartial, meaning they cannot have any personal stake in the proceedings’ outcomes. They must also report on proceedings objectively, without any personal biases or opinions getting in the way. Additionally, court reporters must keep confidential information confidential. It includes not only information presented in court but also the information they may learn about the parties involved outside of court.

Avoiding Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when a court reporter has a financial or personal interest in the outcome of a proceeding. For example, a court reporter should not accept gifts from attorneys or litigants involved in a case. Additionally, court reporters should not socialize with attorneys or litigants outside of work. If you are friends with someone involved in a case, it is best to disclose this information to the attorney or judge overseeing the proceedings.

Safeguarding Transcript

Court reporters are responsible for safeguarding the accuracy of transcripts, that is, adhering to a strict code of ethics and maintaining the highest standards of integrity. Court reporters must also be impartial and objective in their work. To ensure the accuracy of transcripts, court reporters must be competent in their skills and knowledge. They must also be able to keep up with the ever-changing technology to produce accurate transcripts.

Maintain Confidentiality

You will often access sensitive information when working as a court reporter. It is essential to maintain confidentiality and not share any information you are not supposed to. The best way to do this as a reputable court reporter is to keep a professional attitude and be discreet when discussing cases with others. If you are ever in doubt about whether or not you should share something, be cautious and don’t speak up.

Aptus Court Reporting provides the most talented and trustworthy services with expert court reporters, personalized attention, and full-service court reporting coverage.  Please get in touch with us to handle your case. And if you’re an experienced court reporter with top-notch integrity and expertise, talk to us too; we’ll help you put your prowess into meaningful practice.