A Promise to Our Attorney Partners
Horror Stories From Our Friends in the Law
Want to hear a good joke about lawyers?
No? We don’t either. We have many friends in the legal business; most are advocates, and a few are on the bench. And without exception they are decent, compassionate human beings, committed to their work, to their clients, and to the law. A lot of people envy their success, and that explains why lawyers are often the targets of mean-spirited “jokes.”
Too often, attorneys are victimized in another way: by some of the people they rely on. Being in the business ourselves, we get to hear stories from lawyers about the disasters they have suffered at the hands of court reporters, transcriptionists, translators, deposition video technicians, and other people in our bailiwick. And, oh, the stories we have heard! Tales of missing documents and lost transcripts that cannot be replaced. Shady tricks like adjusting margins on transcripts to print fewer lines per page (and thus collect a fee for printing more pages). Freelance court reporters who lack professional skills or drop out of contact for days at a time.
Why do lawyers put up with it? We don’t know. What’s clear is that they shouldn’t have to, and we’re about to back that up with a promise.
There are certain minimum standards of professional behavior that attorneys ought to be able to expect when they hire court reporters, legal videographers, and transcriptionists. A field that is distinguished by its ability to produce excellent quality documentation for attorneys cannot tolerate firms that take a casual approach to their duties. To our credit, there aren’t many disreputable firms practicing today—but even a few bad apples spoil the pie.
In proposing our promise to lawyers, we are suggesting a list of responsibilities that we believe any other company in our field could reasonably agree to. Nevertheless, we don’t expect a flood of other litigation support firms will agree to this commitment or make similar pledges of their own. This is a conservative business, and other firms aren’t eager to jump on the bandwagon.
In order to better serve the legal community, Casamo & Associates promises to do its best to fulfill our obligations to the following 10 principles:
- Professionalism. We will adopt a professional demeanor and attire, and will interact with others in a courteous manner.
- Diligence. While covering an assignment, we will demonstrate a strong work ethic and a helpful attitude. We will be punctual and work efficiently. If circumstances dictate that a replacement reporter, recorder, or videographer be substituted, we will strike to notify all parties about the change in a timely manner. We will meet the delivery dates we promise, and will notify all parties if a delay is unavoidable.
- Accuracy. We will accept only those assignments which we believe lies within our level of competence. We will work to maintain and strengthen our professional skills, in order to produce written or video reports that are as free from material errors as humanly possible.
- Impartiality. We will abide by the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics and the higher standards embodied by the Ethics First movement. We will show no favor to either side in a dispute, regardless of who hired us. We will avoid conflicts of interest. We will not give advice to anyone about matters that are in court or that could end up in court.
- Confidentiality. We will preserve the confidentiality of employers’ and clients’ proprietary information. We will treat as confidential all communications with judicial officials and attorneys in which case details are discussed. We will not discuss the merits or details of any case with any other person except in discharging our employment duties.
- Security. We will maintain archives of all transcripts and video deposition records for a minimum of five years, along with an appropriate indexing system to allow us to recall specific documents from long-term storage when needed.
- Adaptability. In adverse circumstances—including equipment failures, power failures, or personal conflicts—we will strive to use alternative means to complete the job within the available timeframe. If we are unable to complete an assigned task, we will help clients find competitors who will be able to finish the work.
- Flexibility. We will adapt to abrupt changes in your schedule, and we’ll try to adapt when you need work done on the spot.
- Technological Proficiency. We recognize that technology often behaves in a quirky, uncooperative way, and we will be prepared with backup resources when conducting videoconferencing and video deposition assignments. We will be prepared to troubleshoot technological glitches when they happen and implement workarounds to complete the assignment.
- Integrity. We will always be honest when touting our qualifications or the services we provide. We will strive to maintain a high reputation in our community for our business and for our profession. We will give an accurate accounting of our work, charge according to our quoted service rates, and show no preference by charging some customers less.
Have You Found a Better Guarantee?
If another court reporter firm has made a better commitment, we would like to hear about it; please let us know in the comments section on this page. On the other hand, if you believe that we’re the right company for your legal practice, let us know by filling in the quick contact box on this page.