ALBERTA SHORTHAND REPORTERS ASSOCIATION BYLAWS
1(1) In these bylaws,
(a) “Act” means the Societies Act;
(b) “Association” means the Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association;
(c) “Certified Shorthand Reporter”, “Participating Shorthand Reporter”, “associate member”, and “honourary member” mean respectively a member of the Association in the category of membership described;
(d) “Council” means the Council of the Association;
(e) “Council members” means those persons elected or appointed to the Council in accordance with these bylaws, and includes the President;
(f) “President”, “First Vice President”, “Second Vice President”, “Secretary”, and “Treasurer” mean respectively the Council member holding that office;
(g) “voting members” means Certified Shorthand Reporters and Participating Shorthand Reporters.
(h) “shorthand reporting” and “court reporting” mean the taking of a verbatim record of the spoken word by means of shorthand symbols by stenographic shorthand, and the reading back, real-time translation, and/or transcribing of those shorthand notes upon request.
(i) “practicing reporter” means anyone who is actively engaged in the practice of shorthand reporting. A reporter ceasing to be actively engaged in the practice of shorthand reporting for a period exceeding two years shall be considered no longer practicing.
(j) “shorthand reporter”, “stenographic reporter”, “court reporter”, “stenographer”, “verbatim reporter”, or “reporter” means a member of the Association who is either a Certified Shorthand Reporter or Participating Shorthand Reporter.
(k) “certified”, “certified reporter”, “certified court reporter”, “certified shorthand reporter”, “certified real-time reporter”, “certified realtime reporter”, “certified real time reporter”, mean a member of the Association who is a Certified Shorthand Reporter.
(l) “court reporting firm” includes one or more shorthand reporters practicing: (i) in a sole proprietorship; (ii) in a partnership; (iii) by ministerial appointment; (iv) in a corporation or other organization from the same physical premises or online entity expressly or impliedly holding themselves out to be practicing court reporting together and indicating a commonality of practice through physical layout of office space, websites, and other online advertising, firm name, letterhead, signage, business cards, reception, telephone answering services, e-mails, internet protocol address, shared office systems, shared support staff; (v) or from the same premises and indicating that their practices are independent.
(2) Unless a contrary intention appears, the Interpretation Act applies to these bylaws.
(3) Words defined in the Act have the same meaning in these bylaws.
COUNCIL OF THE ASSOCIATION
2(1) There shall be a Council of the Association composed of 8 Certified Shorthand Reporters, including any honourary member.
(2) The following offices on Council are established:
(b) First Vice President;
(c) Second Vice President, who shall be chair of the Discipline Committee;
(e) Treasurer; and
(f) Chair of the Practice Review Committee;
(g) Chair and Registrar of the Registration Committee;
(h) Special Projects
3(1) Council members continue in office until their respective successors are duly elected, appointed, or designated with these bylaws.
(2) Subject to the Act and these bylaws, the Council shall manage the affairs of the Association and may exercise those powers and do those things that may be exercised or done by the Association in the name of and on behalf of the Association.
4 The person elected as President holds office as President until the close of the next annual general meeting.
5 The President shall, when present, preside at all meetings of the members of the Association and of the Council.
6 The President is responsible for the general management and supervision of the affairs and operation of the Association.
First Vice President and Second Vice President
7(1) The First Vice President shall, in the absence or inability to act of the President, assume all the functions, duties, powers, and responsibilities of the President.
(2) The Second Vice President shall, in the absence or inability to act of the President and the First Vice President, assume all the functions, duties, powers, and responsibilities of the President.
(3) In the absence or inability to act of the President, First Vice President, and the Second Vice President, the Council may appoint another council member to assume the functions, duties, powers, and responsibilities of the President.
8(1) The Secretary is responsible for:
(a) attending all meetings and recording proceedings in the minute books kept for the purpose;
(b) giving any notices required to be given to members of the Association and members of the Council;
(c) the custody of the seal of the Association and of all books, papers, records, correspondence, contracts and other documents belonging to the Association which they shall deliver up to their successor as Secretary or to any other person when authorized to do so by a resolution of the Council;
(d) completing and filing any documents required by law to be completed and filed;
(e) such other duties as may be determined by the Council.
(2) The Secretary or another Council member specified by the Council shall maintain and have charge of the minute books of the Association.
9 The Treasurer is responsible for:
(a) keeping full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements of the Association proper books of account;
(b) depositing all moneys or valuables of the Association in the name and to the credit of the Association in such bank, treasury branch, or financial institution as may be designated by the Council;
(c) disbursing the funds of the Association in accordance with any direction made by the Council and providing to the Council a financial report whenever it is required;
(d) such other duties as may be determined by the Council;
(e) providing an annual financial report to the membership at the annual general meeting as per bylaw 39 pertaining to Auditing of Books.
Resignation or Vacancy
10 If a Council member
(a) resigns or without reasonable excuse is absent from three or more Council meetings or
(b) is suspended or expelled from the Association, the Council shall declare that council member’s office vacant and shall appoint a successor to hold office until the next annual general meeting. At such annual general meeting, an election shall be held for the vacant position or for the unexpired term, as appropriate.
11 Five or more Council members form a quorum for the transaction of business of the Council.
Remuneration and Expenses
12(1) The voting members of the Association may from time to time determine the remuneration to be paid to Council members.
(2) Except for expenses incurred at an annual general meeting, Council members are entitled to be reimbursed their reasonable travelling and living expenses while engaged in the business of the Association.
13 Every Council member shall be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Association from and against
(a) all costs, charges and expenses that they sustain or incur in or as a result of any action proceeding that is brought, commenced, or prosecuted against them for or in respect of any act, matter, or thing made, done, or permitted by them in the course of the execution of their duties under this Act and by these bylaws, and
(b) all other costs, charges, and expenses that they sustain or incur in or in relation to the business and affairs of the Association, except any costs, charges, or expenses occasioned by their own willful neglect or default.
14(1) Subject to the Act, for the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Association, the Council may borrow or raise or secure the repayment of money in any manner that the Council determines.
(2) In accordance with the Act, no debentures shall be issued without the sanction of a special resolution of the voting members.
15 At least 30 days before an annual general meeting, the Council shall appoint a Certified Shorthand Reporter as Returning Officer.
16 The nominating committee is responsible for ensuring that there are at least as many candidates running for election to the Council as there are vacancies on Council.
17(1) At least 30 days before an annual general meeting, the Council shall appoint a Certified Shorthand Reporter as Returning Officer.
(2) If an appointed Returning Officer becomes incapable of acting as the Returning Officer, the Council may appoint a replacement Returning Officer.
(3) A Council member shall not be appointed as Returning Officer.
18 The appointment of a Returning Officer terminates on the destruction of the ballot papers following the election for which the Returning Officer is appointed.
19 Each year, at the annual general meeting of the Association, an election shall be held, first for President and thereafter for other Council members, where there are vacancies.
20 Any Certified Shorthand Reporter, including any honourary member of the Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association, is eligible to be nominated and stand as a candidate for council member, and thereby eligible to seek election as President.
21 A candidate for election as a Council member may be nominated and seconded from the floor at the annual general meeting of the Association by Certified Shorthand Reporters.
Council Re-election or Nominations
22(1) The President or any other Council member is eligible to be nominated for re-election.
(2) Any Council member is eligible to seek election as the President.
Secret Ballot and Voting
23(1) Voting for President or any other Council members shall be by secret ballot.
(2) Only Certified Shorthand Reporters and Participating Shorthand Reporters are entitled to vote at an election for Council members.
(3) The decision of the Returning Officer is final.
24(1) The person elected as President holds office as President for the first year and, unless re-elected as President, as a member of Council the second year.
(2) The persons elected as the Council members, other than the President, hold office until the conclusion of the annual general meeting in their second year of office.
25 The members of the Association shall be the subscribers to the application for incorporation and such other persons as are admitted as members of the Association in accordance with these bylaws.
(1) The Roll of the Association
The Roll shall contain the following information with respect to each member:
- full name,
- maiden name, if applicable,
- enrolment date,
- membership number,
- current practicing status,
- practicing status history with the association,
- status as a responsible shorthand reporter, if applicable, and a) the name of the court reporting firm for which they are acting as agent, and b) the names of the practicing shorthand reporters they are responsible for mentoring,
- if the person is an active member, the member’s current:
- court reporting firm name(s) for which they are associated as an agent,
- contact information including personal mailing address, phone number, email address,
- practice area(s)
- valid certifications obtained through the National Court Reporters Association, if applicable
- name of National Court Reporters Association recognized school of court reporting attended, if applicable
- graduation date from National Court Reporters Association recognized school of court reporting, if applicable
Certified Shorthand Reporter
26(1) A Certified Shorthand Reporter
(a) is entitled to vote at meetings of the Association;
(b) is entitled to nominate or be nominated as President or other member of Council;
(c) may participate in the activities of the Association and receive such other benefits as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time;
(2) A Certified Shorthand Reporter shall pay such fees, dues, or levies as the Council may from time to time determine.
(3) Members of the Association shall report any changes pertaining to bylaw 25 to the Registrar within 14 business days to maintain the accuracy of the Roll of the Association.
Participating Shorthand Reporter
27(1) A Participating Shorthand Reporter
(a) is entitled to vote at meetings of the Association;
(b) is entitled to apply for Certified Shorthand Reporter status upon meeting the standards set by the Registration Committee including, but not limited to:
(i) practicing for a minimum of one year as an agent under the supervision of a Certified Shorthand Reporter(s) who has been a member of the Association in good standing for a minimum of five years;
(ii) receiving meaningful training and exposure to and involvement in work that will provide the participating reporter with knowledge and experience of the practical aspects of the court reporting profession, together with an appreciation of the traditions and ethics of the profession;
(c) may participate in the activities of the Association and receive such other benefits as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time.
(2) A Participating Shorthand Reporter shall pay such fees, dues, or levies as the Council may from time to time determine.
(3) A Participating Shorthand Reporter shall provide the Registrar the name of their supervising Certified Shorthand Reporter(s) for each court reporting firm for which they are associated as an agent.
28 An associate member
(a) is a student enrolled at a National Court Reporters Association recognized school of court reporting entitled to be recognized as being associated with the Association;
(b) is eligible to apply to the Registration Committee for Participating Shorthand Reporter or Certified Shorthand Reporter status upon meeting the standards set by the Chair of the Registration Committee and these bylaws;
(c) is entitled to attend meetings of the Association by invitation of the Council;
(d) may receive such other benefits as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time.
29 An honourary member may receive such benefits as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time.
30(1) Notice of the date, time, and place of all annual, general, or special meetings, together with the proposed agenda, shall be given to all Certified Shorthand Reporters and Participating Shorthand Reporters at least 21 days before the time fixed for the holding of the meeting personally, by e-mail, electronically, or by prepaid mail postmarked at least 21 days before the time fixed for the holding of the meeting.
(2) Unless the Act otherwise provides, the notice referred to in subsection (1) may be waived by a vote to do so of voting members.
31 A quorum at annual, general, or special meetings is 20 voting members.
32 A notice required to be sent to a member of the Association may be delivered personally, by e-mail, telephone, electronically, or sent by mail to the members recorded on the Register of members maintained by the Registration Committee.
Amendments and Rules
33(1) No repeal, re-enactment, or amendment to these bylaws is effective unless a special resolution is passed by the voting members.
(2) The Council may from time to time adopt internal rules that do not conflict with and are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
Dissolution and Winding Up
34(1) The Association shall not be voluntarily wound up unless a special resolution is passed by the voting members.
(2) In the event that the Association is dissolved or wound up, Certified Shorthand Reporters and Participating Shorthand Reporters are entitled to participate in any distribution of the property of the Association.
35(1) Notwithstanding anything else contained in these bylaws, the Council may direct that vote be taken on any matter that requires the approval of the membership, including changes to existing or proposed bylaws or Regulations. The Council shall determine the form and wording of the ballot and shall include, as part of the ballot, a clear explanation of the matter to be voted on. The ballot shall be mailed to each voting member in good standing. In order to be counted for or against the matter, the ballot must be properly marked and mailed back to the Secretary within the time period specified by the Council and indicated plainly on the ballot. Upon the expiry of the specified time, the ballots shall be counted by the Secretary in the presence of not less than two certified shorthand reporters in good standing who are not members of Council. Notice of the result of the mail ballot shall be mailed forthwith to each voting member of the Association. Any revisions to the bylaws will be posted on the members only portion of the Association website within 21 business days of the tallied results.
(2) In order for a mail vote to be valid, a minimum of 20 ballots properly marked must be returned to the Secretary.
(3) In all votes, a majority of the ballots shall decide the question, except in the matter of a Special Resolution, when the majority of three-fourths of the ballots shall be required.
Payment of Dues
36(1) Annual fees are payable on or before October 1 each year.
(2) If a person fails to pay annual membership fees or any late payment levy within 3 months of the date it becomes due, that person shall be considered to have resigned from the Association.
37 A Certified Shorthand Reporter, Participating Shorthand Reporter, and an associate member may resign from membership in the Association by notice in writing to the Registrar.
Inspection of Books and Records
38(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Council shall determine whether and to what extent and at what times and places and under what conditions the accounts and books of the Association or any of them shall be open to the inspection of members, and no member of the Association has any right to inspecting any account or book or document of the Association except as conferred by law or authorized by the Council or by resolution of the voting members, whether previous notice thereof has been given or not.
(2) Council members may inspect accounts, books, and records of the Association at any time.
Auditing of Books
39 The books of the Association shall be audited by two Certified Shorthand Reporters in good standing at the conclusion of each fiscal year, in consultation with a qualified accounting professional who shall prepare a written financial report for presentation to the membership at the Annual General Meeting.
CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
40 In this Part, “shorthand reporter” means a Certified Shorthand Reporter and a Participating Shorthand Reporter.
41(1) The shorthand reporter shall avoid any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest by conducting themselves with impartiality toward all participants in every case.
(2) The shorthand reporter shall refrain from accepting or providing gifts or favours in connection with their work or provide special financial terms or other services that are not offered at the same time and on the same terms to all other parties in the matter.
(3) The shorthand reporter shall promptly disclose to the parties any financial, business, professional, family, or social relationships which might reasonably create an appearance of partiality, and be alert to situations that are conflicts of interest or that create an appearance of a conflict of interest.
42(1) The shorthand reporter and associate member students shall preserve the confidentiality of information entrusted to their possession which is so classified and shall take whatever steps are necessary to ensure its security and privacy in accordance to regulations, privacy laws, and the Rules of Court.
(2) The shorthand reporter shall preserve and file all shorthand notes, audio recordings, transcripts, and digital files in matters where no transcript has been ordered in an organized manner so that they may be retrieved, if needed, at a later date for a period not less than 7 years or as specified by law or Rules of Court.
(3) Shorthand notes, transcripts, and digital files shall be retained for a period of not less than 5 years from the date of delivery of a transcript unless otherwise specified by law or rule of court.
(4) Unless authorized for the purpose of transcript production for the parties, members of the Association, court reporting firms, agencies, examiners, official court reporters, or their agents, may not share shorthand notes, audio recordings, transcripts, or digital files with any lawyer, representative, agent, or insurer who is not a party to the proceeding unless express permission is granted by all parties in the legal proceeding.
(5) The shorthand reporter shall transmit, preserve, and file all shorthand notes, audio recordings, transcripts, and digital files in accordance with privacy laws pertaining to Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), Canada’s Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), including the use of cloud storage providers.
Contribution to Judicial Process
- The shorthand reporter shall contribute to the integrity and impartiality of the judicial process or of any other proceeding by conducting themselves in a manner that is fair and courteous to all participants.
44(1) The shorthand reporter shall act with diligence to complete and deliver transcripts in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, if applicable, or within a reasonable time after they have been ordered.
(2) A determination of what constitutes “reasonable time” shall take into consideration such factors as the length of the transcript to be delivered, the transcript backlog experienced by the reporter at the time of placement of the particular order, and the time available for transcript preparation.
(3) The shorthand reporter shall refrain from promising transcript delivery dates they cannot reasonably expect to fulfill.
(4) All shorthand reporters or their agents providing shorthand reporting or court reporting services on their behalf shall have a valid appointment as a Commissioner for Oaths in order to swear in witnesses.
45 The shorthand reporter shall prepare a certified complete and accurate transcript that is neat in appearance and shall provide a fair value to the user.
46 The shorthand reporter, court reporting firms, agencies, or sole proprietors whenever making public statements, announcements, or advertisements, shall provide truthful, accurate, and adequate information that does not deceive or mislead the public about qualifications and the services they provide.
47(1) In their professional practice, the shorthand reporter will strive to meet the following objectives:
(a) to observe the law and maintain a high standard of personal conduct;
(b) to recognize their responsibility to the public interest and to their profession, to contribute to the development and understanding of better ways to serve the interest of justice, and to make a record of the proceedings that is a certified complete and accurate;
(c) to apply their knowledge and experience working in cooperation with the Bench and the Bar toward the improvement of the administration of justice;
(d) to perfect and enlarge their professional knowledge in addition to improving their skills;
(e) to recognize their responsibility and accountability as an agent of their court reporting firm(s), agency, or sole proprietorship;
(f) to associate with organizations having as their objectives the betterment of the shorthand reporting profession in the public interest and contribute their time in carrying on the work of these organizations;
(g) to give just recognition to the work of their peers without distortion or discrimination.
(2) The shorthand reporter will seek the freest professional discussion of all theoretical and practical issues, but avoid personal invective directed towards others.
Code of Ethics
Part 1 – Business Practice
(3) The shorthand reporter shall:
(a) be fair and impartial toward each participant in all aspects of reported proceedings;
(b) 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 reporter shall disclose that conflict or potential conflict to the parties immediately;
(c) guard against not only the fact but the appearance of impropriety;
(d) preserve the confidentiality and ensure the security of information, oral or written, entrusted to the reporter by any of the parties in a proceeding;
(e) be truthful and accurate when making public statements or when advertising the reporter’s qualifications or the services provided;
(f) determine fees independently, except when established by statute or court order, entering into no agreement with other reporters on the fees to any user;
(g) maintain the integrity of the reporting profession;
(h) refrain from giving, directly or indirectly, any gift, incentive, reward, or anything of value to attorneys, clients, or their representatives or agents, except for nominal items that do not exceed $100 per transaction and $200 in the aggregate per recipient each year.
Part 2 – Professional Standards of Business Practice
The shorthand reporter should:
(j) accept only those assignments when the reporter’s level of competence will result in the preparation of an accurate transcript. The reporter should remove themselves from an assignment when they believe their abilities are inadequate, recommending or assigning another reporter only if such reporter has the competence required for such assignment;
(k) prepare the transcripts in accordance with the regulations established by the Alberta Rules of Court for official court reporters, whether the court reporter is an official court reporter or an agent of an examiner or official court reporter;
(l) notify the parties engaging the reporter if a substitute reporter will be assigned to report the proceedings;
(m) meet promised delivery dates, or make timely delivery of transcripts when no date is specified;
(n) strive to become and remain proficient in their professional skills;
(o) keep abreast of current literature and developments, and participate in continuing education programs;
(p) assist in improving the reporting profession by participating in national, provincial, and local association activities that advance the quality and standards of the reporting profession;
(q) cooperate with the Bench and Bar for the improvement of the administration of justice.
(r) not provide any form of promotions, rewards, or kickbacks to clients for booking the court reporting services of any particular firm.
Part 3 – Business Practice Ethics
In order to preserve the impartiality, independence, and integrity of the profession, make reasonable efforts to ascertain whether any arrangement exists which is prohibited under these bylaws, the law, or the Rules of Court before accepting assignments.
Under these bylaws, it is prohibited for examiners, official court reporters, court reporting firms, or their agents to:
(1) give any economic or other advantage that extends beyond a single case, action, or proceeding to any party, or any party’s lawyer, representative, agent, insurer, or employee without offering it at the same time and on the same terms to all parties in the legal proceeding. Different credit terms can be offered based on payment experience and creditworthiness. Government entities may, if required by law to do so, obtain court reporting services on a long-term basis through competitive bidding.
(2) include a shorthand reporter on any list of preferred providers of shorthand reporting or court reporting services after exchanging information or entering into an oral or written agreement specifying the prices or other terms upon which future shorthand reporting or court reporting services will be provided to any lawyer, party to an action, insurance company, third-party administrator, or any other person or entity that has a financial interest in the case, action, or proceeding. Government entities may, if required by law to do so, prepare a list of preferred court reporting providers on a long-term basis through competitive bidding.
(3) allow the format, content, or body of the transcript as submitted by the shorthand reporter to be manipulated in a manner that increases the cost of the transcript, excepting the preparation of appeal books in accordance with the Rules of Court.
(4) provide advocacy or litigation support services including, but not limited to, trial preparation assistance; deposition, oral questioning, or trial summaries; access to or summaries of non-public, confidential transcript databases.
(5) base the compensation of the shorthand reporter on the outcome or otherwise give the shorthand reporter a financial interest in the action.
48 The bylaws of the Association filed on September 23, 2000 are repealed.
Revised September 29, 2019