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AB-2084 Shorthand reporters.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/21/2018 09:00 PM
AB2084:v96#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2084
CHAPTER 648

An act to add Section 8050 to the Business and Professions Code, relating to shorthand reporters.

[ Approved by Governor  September 21, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 21, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2084, Kalra. Shorthand reporters.
Existing law requires, upon court order or, in certain cases, upon request of a party to the action, an official court reporter or reporter pro tempore to take down in shorthand all testimony, objections made, rulings of the court, exceptions taken, arraignments, pleas, sentences, arguments of the attorneys to the jury, and statements and remarks made and oral instructions given by the judge or other judicial officer. Existing law requires shorthand reporters to be licensed and regulated by the Court Reporters Board of California, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law prohibits a person from being appointed to the position of official reporter of any court unless the person has first obtained a license to practice as a certified shorthand reporter from the board. Existing law requires applicants and licensees to pay a fee that is deposited into the Court Reporters’ Fund, which is a continuously appropriated fund, except fine and penalty money in the fund is not continuously appropriated. Existing law makes a violation of these provisions a misdemeanor.
This bill would prohibit an individual or entity that engages in any act that constitutes shorthand reporting, or that employs or contracts with another party to perform shorthand reporting, as specified, from engaging in specified business practices. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also authorize the Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or the board to bring a civil action for a violation of these provisions and would subject an individual or entity that violates these provisions to a civil fine not exceeding $10,000 per violation, as specified.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8050 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

8050.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the regulation of licensed shorthand reporters and shorthand reporting corporations pursuant to this section, by imposing specific penalties in addition to other remedies permitted by this chapter that seek to discourage practices that are inconsistent with the integrity and impartiality required of officers of the court and to promote competition based upon the quality and price of shorthand reporting services.
(b) This section shall apply to an individual or entity that does any of the following:
(1) Any act that constitutes shorthand reporting that occurs wholly or partly in this state.
(2) Employs, independently contracts with, or recruits a licensed shorthand reporter to report or transcribe deposition testimony in a court proceeding or in a deposition.
(3) Contracts with a resident of this state by mail or otherwise that requires either party to perform licensed shorthand reporting wholly or partly in this state.
(4) Independently contracts with or is employed by an entity that does any of the acts described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(c) (1) This section does not apply to an individual, whether acting as an individual or as an officer, director, or shareholder of a shorthand reporting corporation, as defined in Section 8040, who possesses a valid license, issued pursuant to Section 8018, that may be revoked or suspended by the board, or to a shorthand reporting corporation that is in compliance with Section 8044.
(2) This section does not apply to a court, a party to litigation, an attorney of the party, or a full-time employee of the party or the attorney of the party, who provides or contracts for certified shorthand reporting for purposes related to the litigation.
(d) An individual or entity described in subdivision (b) shall not do any of the following:
(1) Seek compensation for a transcript that is in violation of the minimum transcript format standards set forth in Section 2473 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Seek compensation for a certified court transcript applying fees other than those set out in Section 69950 of the Government Code.
(3) Make a transcript available to one party in advance of other parties, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 2025.510 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or offer or provide a service to only one party as described in subdivision (b) of Section 2025.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) Fail to promptly notify a party of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, excerpts, or expedites for one party without the other parties’ knowledge, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 2475 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a licensed shorthand reporter, shorthand reporting corporation, or an individual or entity described in subdivision (b), from offering or providing long-term or multicase volume discounts or services ancillary to reporting and transcribing a deposition, arbitration, or judicial proceeding in contracts that are subject to laws related to shorthand reporting.
(f) An individual or entity that violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation.
(g) The Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or the board may bring a civil action for a violation of this section, including an action for injunctive relief and any other appropriate relief, and shall be entitled if he or she is the prevailing party, to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.