We had a motion today where the attorney was asking the judge to order the court reporter in a district court to not destroy her audio. The attorney said she wrote on a machine. My judge asked me if she could do that. I told her I would find out. I think NCRA has a rule that's it's not allowed unless there is a court order. I'm going to double check on that as well because I heard this is our work product and it was not the record. But here in Michigan, if it's a stenographic reporter, do we have to release our audio if we use it? Never had this come up but I'm hearing it's happening a lot in the freelance world in other states.
Michigan doesn't have a rule regarding that. The steno notes are the record with a stenographic reporter, which belongs to the court. I would suggest following the NCRA Advisory Opinion 38 which in part says: The Committee has determined that absent a court order to do so, the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics does not require that a reporter provide a copy of any backup audio media that the reporter uses to make the official transcript of a proceeding. However, Provision No. 1 of the Code requires that if the reporter chooses to give a copy to a requesting party, the reporter must offer to do so for all parties to the proceeding. Provision No. 4 also requires that the reporter maintain the original backup audio media and provide only a copy to any or all requesting parties unless ordered by the court to provide the original media. In that case, the reporter must keep a copy. Finally, the Committee cautions that releasing copies of the media may result in a violation of Provision No. 4 of the Code if the media contains inadvertent, off-the-record or privileged information that should not have been released or disclosed.
I didn't think Michigan had a rule. Thanks, Melinda. I'll pass this info on to my judge.
Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters P.O. Box 366, Pinckney, MI 48169 Phone: 734.498.2627 Fax: 734.498.8415 firstname.lastname@example.org