|Merrill Corp Bows to Industry Pressure
Posted on Merrill's DepoPoint FAQ page, effective October 2011:
"Q: Why is Merrill Corporation discontinuing the Depo Points Rewards Program?
A: A growing number of concerns have been raised lately related to the appropriateness of gifting in the court reporting industry. To be proactive on this matter and to avoid any appearance of impropriety, Merrill has decided to discontinue its Depo Points program."
What precipitated the retreat? CCRA's first media blitz entitled Dollars for Depos: A Risky Business, put non-CSR-owned and CSR-owned firms on notice: STOP ENGAGING IN UNETHICAL INCENTIVE GIFT GIVING.
"Favored depo-pricing schemes fill up a shopping cart of ethical issues that undermine and dilute the integrity of the reporting profession and the status of the reporter as a neutral and impartial officer of the court."
Published in the San Francisco Daily Journal in September 2010, the article paved the way to put pressure on. Since then, a statewide and national campaign has been mounting.
CCRA and DRA co-authored Dollars for Depos: Hanson Bridgett Legal Opinion Weighs In, citing possible IRS violations; NCRA's Ethics First Task Force, of which CCRA's president is a member, launched a nationwide program educating the legal community about unethical gift giving, including PowerPoint programs, MCLE courses, and more articles published around the country.
In our Sunshine State of California, we continue and support the fight of the California Court Reporters Board v. US Legal Support suit. In response to Merrill's turnaround, one of CCRA's Facebook commentators, "Sunshine IS the best disinfectant."
CCRA remains committed to FIGHT UNETHICAL GIFT GIVING. JOIN US!
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