Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) that would help local businesses provide court reporting service, better compete with larger, out-of-state companies was passed by the Senate Commerce Committee today.
“These larger agencies hire certified reporters, often as independent contractors, but the firms themselves have no limitations on the way that they do business because they do not fall within the purview of the court reporters’ certification law or any regulation by the board, ” stated Singer. “These large agencies have an unfair competitive advantage because they have not been restricted with respect to giving gifts or other incentives to attorneys in order to get their business.”
Singer’s bill (S-397) would require the owner or operator of a court reporting agency that provides court reporting services to have a certificate granted by the State Board of Court Reporting, or have a registration certificate granted by the board in accordance with the bill.
Court reporting agencies, registered pursuant to the bill, would also be subjected to board regulations, and would be required to employ only court reporters certified by the board or temporary court reporters registered with the board.
Under current law, court reporters have limitations on the way they do business including a strict limitation on any gift or other incentive that may be given to attorneys or others that hire the reporters.