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Board Meeting
April TBD - 10:00 a.m.


Code of Professional Ethics Preamble

The President charged COPR in 1985 to review the Code and to evaluate its various sections. Following that charge, COPR revised the Code for brevity and clarity, and the Code was changed to Code of Professional Conduct. In addition, COPR established Mediation Procedures for the Membership in an effort to resolve amicably matters in dispute arising out of the Code of Professional Conduct, and changed the title of the Enforcement and Disciplinary Procedures to Complaint Procedures.

In 1992, the President charged COPR again with the review and updating of the Code and the Standards of Professional Practice. As a result, COPR recommended (1) certain revisions to, and the retitling of, the Code as the Code of Professional Ethics; (2) certain revisions to the Complaint Procedures; (3) the corresponding change of COPR's name to the Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE); (4) the change of the title of the Standards of Professional Practice to the Guidelines for Professional Practice; and (5) the separate publication of the mediation procedures and transcript format guidelines from the Code, the Guidelines and the Complaint and Advisory Opinion Procedures. Although the mediation procedures and transcript format guidelines are still in effect, COPR believed that separate publication serves to streamline and direct proper focus to the Code, the Guidelines, and the Complaint and Advisory Opinion Procedures.

From 1994 to 2001, the Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) recommended additional changes to the Code, including expanding the Guidelines for Professional Practice, Sections I, II and III. In 1999, the Board charged the CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) Task Force with the duty of creating ethical guidelines for that sector of the profession and COPE to review those guidelines before acceptance by the Board. As a result of that review, Section I now covers the General Guidelines for the reporter making the official record; Section II covers the Guidelines for the Realtime Reporter in Legal Proceedings; Section III covers the Guidelines for the CART Provider in a Legal Setting; and Section IV covers the Guidelines for the CART Provider in a Nonlegal Setting. In addition, during this time period, changes were made to the Complaint Procedures, Advisory Opinion Procedures, and Transcript Format Guidelines.

The mandatory Code of Professional Ethics defines the ethical relationship the public, the bench, and the bar have a right to expect from a Member. The Code sets out the conduct of the Member when dealing with the user of reporting services and acquaints the user, as well as the Member, with guidelines established for professional behavior. The Guidelines for Professional Practice, on the other hand, are goals which every Member should strive to attain and maintain. Members are urged to comply with the Guidelines and must adhere to local, state and federal rules and statutes. It should be noted that these guidelines do not exhaust the moral and ethical considerations with which the Member should conform, but provide the framework for the practice of reporting. Not every situation a Member may encounter can be foreseen, but a Member should always adhere to fundamental ethical principles. By complying with the Code of Professional Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Practice, Members maintain their profession at the highest level.

Code of Professional Ethics

A Member Shall:
  1. Be fair and impartial toward each participant in all aspects of reported proceedings, and always offer to provide comparable services to all parties in a proceeding.
  2. Be alert to situations that are conflicts of interest or that may give the appearance of a conflict of interest. If a conflict or a potential conflict arises, the Member shall disclose that conflict or potential conflict.
  3. Guard against not only the fact but the appearance of impropriety.
  4. Preserve the confidentiality and ensure the security of information, oral or written, entrusted to the Member by any of the parties in a proceeding.
  5. Be truthful and accurate when making public statements or when advertising the Member's qualifications or the services provided.
  6. Refrain, as an official reporter, from freelance reporting activities that interfere with official duties and obligations.
  7. Determine fees independently, except when established by statute or court order, entering into no unlawful agreements with other reporters on the fees to any user.
  8. Refrain from giving, directly or indirectly, any gift or anything of value to attorneys or their staff, other clients or their staff, or any other persons or entities associated with any litigation, which exceeds $100 in the aggregate per recipient each year. Nothing offered in exchange for future work is permissible, regardless of its value. Pro bono services as defined by the NCRA Guidelines for Professional Practice or by applicable state and local laws, rules and regulations are permissible in any amount
  9. Maintain the integrity of the reporting profession.
  10. Abide by the NCRA Constitution & Bylaws.
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