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Virginia Senate Bill 545 Passes
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SB 545 Court reporters or court reporting services provider; prohibited actions, civil penalties.

Introduced by: Mark D. Obenshain

 

SUMMARY AS PASSED:

 

Court reporters; prohibited actions; civil penalties. Establishes ethical standards and requirements for the provision of court reporting services, including prohibiting providers of court reporting services from (i) entering into contracts for more than one case, action, or legal proceeding with a 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 legal proceeding; (ii) giving an economic advantage to one side that is not offered to the other; (iii) having a financial interest in the action; (iv) entering into an agreement for court reporting services that restricts an attorney from using the court reporter or court reporting services provider of the attorney's choosing; (v) allowing the format, content, or body of a certified transcript as submitted by the court reporter to be manipulated in a manner that increases the cost of the transcript; and (vi) providing additional advocacy or litigation support services. The bill provides that a person harmed by a violation of these standards may file a complaint with the administrative body, court, or administrative tribunal in which the action upon which the legal proceeding is based is pending or scheduled to be heard. The bill provides that the court reporter or court reporting services provider alleged to have violated such standards shall be given notice and a right to be heard on any such complaint, with the right of appeal or review. The bill further provides that a person who violates these standards is subject to a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third and any subsequent offense, which shall be paid to the state treasury and credited to the Legal Aid Services Fund within the Virginia State Bar fund.

SUMMARY AS PASSED SENATE:


Court reporters; prohibited actions; civil penalties. Establishes ethical standards and requirements for the provision of court reporting services, including prohibiting providers of court reporting services from (i) entering into contracts for more than one case, action, or legal proceeding with a 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 legal proceeding; (ii) giving an economic advantage to one side that is not offered to the other; (iii) having a financial interest in the action; (iv) entering into an agreement for court reporting services that restricts an attorney from using the court reporter or court reporting services provider of the attorney's choosing; (v) allowing the format, content, or body of a certified transcript as submitted by the court reporter to be manipulated in a manner that increases the cost of the transcript; and (vi) providing additional advocacy or litigation support services. The bill provides that a person harmed by a violation of these standards may file a complaint with the administrative body, court, or administrative tribunal in which the action upon which the legal proceeding is based is pending or scheduled to be heard. The bill further provides that a person who violates these standards is subject to a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third and any subsequent offense, which shall be paid to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia; additionally, the person's authorization or registration to do business in the Commonwealth may be revoked or suspended.

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:


Court reporters; prohibited actions; civil penalties. Establishes ethical standards and requirements for the provision of court reporting services, including prohibitions against providers of court reporting services (i) providing services if the court reporter is a party to or has a financial interest in the proceeding; (ii) entering into contracts for more than one case, action, or legal proceeding with an attorney, 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 legal proceeding; and (iii) providing additional advocacy or litigation support services. The bill provides that a person harmed by a violation of these standards may file a complaint with the administrative body, court, or administrative tribunal in which the action upon which the legal proceeding is based is pending or scheduled to be heard. The bill further provides that a person who violates these standards is subject to a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third and any subsequent offense, which shall be paid to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia; additionally, the person's authorization or registration to do business in the Commonwealth may be revoked or suspended.

 

To view the bill click here

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