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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Guard against not only the fact but the appearance of impropriety.
- Preserve the confidentiality and ensure the security of information, oral or written, entrusted to the Member by any of the parties in a proceeding.
- Be truthful and accurate when making public statements or when advertising the Member’s qualifications or the services provided.
- Refrain, as an official reporter, from freelance reporting activities that interfere with official duties and obligations.
- 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.
- Refrain from giving, directly or indirectly, any gift, incentive, reward or anything of value to attorneys, clients, witnesses, insurance companies or any other persons or entities associated with the litigation, or to the representatives or agents of any of the foregoing, except for (1) items that do not exceed $100 in the aggregate per recipient each year, or, (2) pro bono services as defined by the NCRA Guidelines for Professional Practice or by applicable state and local laws, rules and regulations.
- Maintain the integrity of the reporting profession.
- Abide by the OCRA Constitution & Bylaws.