Should court reporting agencies be licensed?

We all know that a license is required to become a certified shorthand reporter in California as well as many other states.  But should a court reporting agency also have some kind of similar requirement? 

Currently, several states already do.  Nevada, Texas, Georgia, among others.  I recently got a letter from the Nevada court reporters board explicitly outlining the illegalities of using non-registered (or un-licensed) court reporting agencies.  Of course, I'm on the OK List, but if an agency is not and they advertise as being in business providing court reporters in the state of Nevada,  that's a crime!

Here's their letter:

It has come to the attention of the state of Nevada Certified Court Reporters Board that certain non-registered firms have engaged in the solicitation of contracts for court reporting through direct mail and email solicitation to Nevada attorneys.

This is to advise you that it is unlawful in the state of Nevada for any person to practice court reporting or advertise or put out any sign or card or other device which might indicate to the public that he is entitled to practice as a certified court reporter. To our knowledge, the owners of several national court reporting firms are not licensed and attempt to circumvent the laws of this jurisdiction by advertising, soliciting and contracting for work with attorneys, then independently contracting with licensed court reporters. This practice is not permitted by the laws of this jurisdiction and, in fact, may constitute a misdemeanor under NRS 656.350.

The conduct of these firms jeopardizes the licensing status of any local court reporter who is professionally associated with, or is loaning their name to the non-registered firm for the illegal practice of court reporting in Nevada. This oftentimes occurs when the certified court reporter allows their name to be used on a transcript of a proceeding under the business name of a firm whose owners are not licensed in Nevada, see NRS 656.250(7).

The purpose of this letter is to notify all duly certified court reporters in the state of Nevada that disciplinary action may be taken by the Board for violations of the provisions of Chapter 656 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Pursuant to NRS 656.253, the Board may suspend or revoke a certificate or license if the Board determines that the certificate or license holder has committed any of the acts set forth in NRS 656.240 or 656.250.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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