What are a lawyer’s responsibilities regarding payment of service providers (court reporters, surveyors, mediators, etc.) in connection with a case?
Answer: The failure to pay a court reporter's fee in a timely fashion has been held by the Court to be conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. In re Thornton 342 SC 440, 538 S.E. 2d 4 (2000). Payment of other persons providing services in furtherance of an attorney's request is analogous.
Therefore, if an attorney hires a mediator, the attorney is responsible for ensuring timely payment. If the court orders a mediator, the attorneys should look to the courts for assistance in determination of how the payment will be rendered.