REPORT TITLE:
Private court reporters


DESCRIPTION:
Establishes standards of practice and prohibited practices for
private court reporters.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           611
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO PRIVATE COURT REPORTERS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  Chapter 606, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 2 by adding three new sections to be appropriately designated and
 
 3 to read as follows:
 
 4      "606-  Private court reporters; certification; prohibited
 
 5 practices.  (a) Individuals and entities authorized to render
 
 6 court reporting services under rules adopted by the supreme court
 
 7 shall:
 
 8      (1)  Comply with all federal, state, and local laws and
 
 9           court rules;
 
10      (2)  Possess valid certification as shorthand reporters and
 
11           comply with professional standards that govern the
 
12           practice and conduct of certified shorthand reporters;
 
13           and
 
14      (3)  Offer comparable services to all parties to a
 
15           proceeding and upon the same terms.
 
16      (b)   Such individuals and entities, and any other person
 
17 with whom a private court reporter has a principal and agency
 
18 relationship, shall not enter into any agreement, either oral or
 
19 written, or engage in any deliberate conduct that:
 

 
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 1      (1)  Undermines the actual or perceived impartiality of the
 
 2           court reporter;
 
 3      (2)  Precludes attorneys from selecting a court reporter or
 
 4           court reporting firm on a case-by-case basis;
 
 5      (3)  Precludes attorneys from negotiating reasonable fees
 
 6           for court reporter services on a case-by-case basis or
 
 7           limits an attorney's ability to select a different
 
 8           court reporter or court reporting company on a case by
 
 9           case basis;
 
10      (4)  Gives any party, third party, attorney, or the agent of
 
11           any of them, exclusive terms for court reporter
 
12           services, including terms for transcript format,
 
13           transcript delivery, distribution of certified copies,
 
14           or service rates;
 
15      (5)  Requires the court reporter or court reporting firm to
 
16           relinquish custody of the original deposition
 
17           transcript before certifying it and delivering it to an
 
18           attorney, or to relinquish responsibility for its
 
19           safekeeping before it is filed with the court;
 
20      (6)  Requires the court reporter or court reporting firm to
 
21           be aligned with one party or another in litigation, to
 
22           sign a confidentiality agreement, or, in act or
 

 
 
 
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 1           appearance, to participate as part of an advocacy
 
 2           support team for any party; or  
 
 3      (7)  Establish a contracting network that, if conducting
 
 4           business in Hawaii, that would be in violation of this
 
 5           statute.
 
 6      (c)  Government employment shall not be prohibited by
 
 7 subsection (b), and this section shall not apply to contracts for
 
 8 court reporter services entered into by courts, agencies, or
 
 9 instrumentalities of the United States or of the State of Hawaii.
 
10      606-    Private court reporters; rates; incentives.  (a)
 
11 Rates for certified copies to non-noticing parties shall not
 
12 exceed seventy percent of the cost of the original plus one to
 
13 the noticing party. All incentive programs offered by any
 
14 reporter or reporting agency that are not equally available to
 
15 all customers, or that are not equally available to all parties
 
16 in a given matter in which the reporter or agency is providing
 
17 services, are expressly forbidden in the State of Hawaii.
 
18      606-    Private court reporters; disclosure; impartiality;
 
19 penalties.  (a) Any individual or entity certified under section
 
20 606-   shall comply with the rules of disclosure as adopted by
 
21 professional standards that govern the practice and conduct of
 
22 certified shorthand reporters.
 

 
 
 
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 1      (b) Parties to a judicial action have a right to an
 
 2 impartial and independent court reporter who has no bias,
 
 3 financial or otherwise, related to the action or proceeding.
 
 4      (c) Violation of this section shall be grounds for
 
 5 discipline, censure, or suspension or revocation of
 
 6 certification."
 
 7      SECTION 2.  Section 606-13.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 8 repealed.
 
 9      ["[606-13.6]  Private court reporters; contracts.(a)  Any
 
10 contract for private court reporting services, not related to a
 
11 particular case or reporting incident, shall be prohibited
 
12 between a private court reporter or any other person with whom a
 
13 private court reporter has a principal and agency relationship,
 
14 and any attorney, party to an action, party having a financial
 
15 interest in an action, or any entity providing the services of a
 
16 certified shorthand reporter.  Negotiating or bidding reasonable
 
17 fees, equal to all parties, on a case-by-case basis may not be
 
18 prohibited.
 
19      (b)  Violation of this section shall be grounds for
 
20 discipline, censure, or suspension or revocation of licensure."]
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 1      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
 2 New statutory material is underscored.
 
 3      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
 4 
 
 5                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________