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In re Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners

Supreme Court of Arkansas

December 19, 2019

IN RE: BOARD OF CERTIFIED COURT REPORTER EXAMINERS

          PER CURIAM.

         The Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners [the Board] has submitted proposed changes to The Rule Providing for Certification of Court Reporters and the Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners. We have reviewed the Board's work, and we now publish the suggested amendments for comment from the bench, bar, and public. Comments on the suggested changes should be made in writing on or before March 31, 2020, and they should be addressed to: Stacey Pectol, Clerk, Supreme Court of Arkansas, Attn.: Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners, Justice Building, 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. The proposed changes are set out in "line-in, line-out" fashion (new material is underlined; deleted material is lined through).

         THE RULE PROVIDING FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF COURT REPORTERS SECTION 3. DUTIES OF THE BOARD

         The Board is charged with the duty and invested with the power and authority:

         I. To provide a system and procedure for receiving complaints against court reporters and court-reporting firms, service providers, or entities, investigating such complaints, filing formal disciplinary Complaints against reporters, and for hearing, consideration, and determination of validity of charges and appropriate sanctions to be imposed upon any reporter.

         THE REGULATIONS OF THE BOARD OF CERTIFIED COURT REPORTER EXAMINERS

         SECTION 22

         a. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the integrity of the record and to avoid the appearance or potential for deferential treatment of parties to an action. Court reporters serve as officers of the court and both the appearance and existence of impartiality are no less important for officers who take depositions than for judicial officers and other persons whose responsibilities are integral to the administration of justice.

         b. The court reporter taking the deposition, or the firm or any other person or entity with whom such court reporter has a principal and agency relationship or is otherwise associated, shall not enter into a contractual or financial agreement, arrangement or relationship for court reporting services, whether written or oral, directly or indirectly, with any attorney, party to an action, insurance company, third-party administrator, including individuals or entities who may ultimately be responsible for payment, or any other person or entity that has a financial interest in an action, which gives the appearance that the impartiality and independence of the court reporter has been compromised. Specific examples of arrangements that are prohibited include ones that:

1. establish rates and terms for court reporting services that extend beyond a single case, action, or proceeding;
2. include a court reporter on any list of preferred providers of court reporting services after exchanging information and reaching an agreement specifying the prices or other terms upon which future court reporting services will be provided, whether or not the services actually are ever ordered;
3. allow the format of the transcript to be manipulated to affect pricing;
4. require the court reporter taking the deposition to relinquish control of an original deposition transcript and copies of the transcript before it is certified;
5. fail to offer comparable services, in both quality and price, to all parties or otherwise require the court reporter to provide special financial terms or other services that are not offered at the same time and on the ...

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