Act 839, which became legally effective on August 1, 2014, provides important new protection for court reporters:
Section 2555 (G) creates a “safe harbor” (relative to the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure Article 1434) for court reporters who accept assignments from a court reporting firm. [Note: Act 839 defines “court reporting firm” as a company “doing business in Louisiana that is owned or controlled by a person who is not licensed by the board to practice court reporting and that engages others or itself engages in any aspect of the practice of court reporting.”]
Court reporters who want to take advantage of the safe harbor protections must obtain a Court Reporting Firm Affidavit by an authorized and knowledgeable officer of the firm, attesting that the firm has no prohibited employment or contractual relationship, direct or indirect, under Code of Civil Procedure Article 1434 with a party litigant in the matter for which the reporter is retained to provide services. In addition, court reporters must have no actual knowledge of any such prohibited relationship between the court reporting firm and a party litigant; each court reporter will effectively make such a representation when executing the Court Reporter Certification Page attached to a deposition. Finally, both the court reporter and the court reporting firm must advise the CSR Board immediately of any changes in the reporter’s actual knowledge or in the firm’s relationship to a party litigant.
In order to assist court reporters in answering questions about how these new procedures will work in practice, the CSR Board plans provide additional advisory notices as questions arise. We encourage anyone who has a question to direct it to the CSR Board office via this link: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your questions will help us to keep you informed about the proper use of these new procedures.