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The Virginia Court Reporters Association takes the following position regarding the formation of the Virginia Board for Court Reporters (VBCR):

That the VBCR be formed to raise the level of competence, ethical standards, accountability, and professionalism of those who practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia; to issue licenses to court reporters who meet the prescribed qualifications and who demonstrate their ability and fitness for such license; and that the board is formed to ensure the protection of the consumer and the litigants who may be affected by the competency of court reporters.

At A Glance

What Court Reporters Should Know

Licensure will:

    • Create the Virginia Board of Court Reporters to provide guidance and oversight to individual reporters as well as court reporting agencies.
    • Protect and promote a court reporter's professional status.
    • Establish a public registry, distinguishing reporters by method and certification.
    • Grant you authority to administer oaths in person or by remote means.

Licensure may be obtained by:

    • National certifications
    • Reciprocity with other jurisdictions
    • Length of time in profession
    • Apprenticeship

What Attorneys Should Know

Licensure will:

    • Create the Virginia Board of Court Reporters to set forth standards, investigate complaints, and ensure compliance with Virginia laws.
    • Ensure minimum standards of competency are met by all Virginia court reporters.
    • Establish standards of procedural and ethical conduct.
    • Maintain an up-to-date public registry of court reporters statewide to assist in ease of scheduling and transcript retrieval.

High Level Overview of Licensure in Virginia

Virginia Board for Court Reporters. Creates the Virginia Board for Court Reporters as an independent board to establish the qualification of applicants for licensure or registration of court reporters in the state. Beginning July 1, 2021, no person may engage in or offer to engage in work as a court reporter unless he has been licensed by the Board. The bill establishes principles of conduct for court reporters and creates the Board for Court Reporters Fund to receive licensing and registration fees to fund the licensure and registration program.

The objective of the draft is to provide the Board with the powers and duties as other regulatory boards in Title 54.1, including the board under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Department of Health Professions and the independent Accountancy Board.

Article 1 - General provisions (Beginning on Line 448)

  • Defines "court reporting services" as the making of a verbatim recording by means of machine shorthand, voice writing, or electronic/digital recording of any testimony given under oath before, or for submission to, any (i) court, (ii) court-appointed referee or examiner, (iii) board, commission, or other body created by law, or in any other proceeding where a verbatim record is required.
  • Also defines "court reporter" and "court reporting services provider"
  • Establishes the nine-member board consisting of four court reporters, two Virginia-licensed attorneys, one member of the Judicial Council of Virginia, and two citizen members.
  • Provides standard powers and duties possessed by other regulatory boards, including the power to establish license fees in an amount providing sufficient revenues to pay all the costs and expenses incurred by the Board necessary to administer the licensing program.
  • Board to maintain a registry of registered court reporter services providers, licensed court reporters, and court reporters on inactive status.
  • Provides for the employment of an Executive Director to carry out the day-to-day functions of the Board.

Article 2 - Licensure and registration (Beginning on Line 558)

  • Effective July 1, 2021, no person may engage in or offer to engage in work as a court reporter unless he has been licensed by the Board.
  • Also requires court reporting services providers to be registered by the Board.
  • Includes grandfather provisions for certain applicants working as a court reporter prior to July 1, 2020.
  • Establishes provisions for apprentice licensure, reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions, relocation from other jurisdictions, continuing education, and inactive status for court reporters.
  • Creates the Board for Court Reporters Fund to receive licensure fees and civil penalties. Money in the fund may be used to provide for the education and training of court reporters or to assist indigent parties in obtaining transcripts.

Article 3 - Prohibited Conduct; Penalties (Beginning on Line 659)

  • Establishes minimum standards of conduct and prohibited practices for licensed court reporters and registered court reporting services provider.
  • Includes the prohibited actions contained in current § 17.1-1002.
  • Includes the comparable treatment of parties provisions of current § 17.1-1003.
  • Board provided with power to civil penalty of $2,500 for each regulatory violation.
  • Provides for aggrieved parties to Board actions to be subject to review and appeals under the Administrative Process Act.

Other General Provisions

  • Includes amendments to the Freedom of Information Act providing an open records exemption for open investigative files (§ 2.2-3705.3) and an open meeting exemption for the Board's discussion of disciplinary matters (§ 2.2-3701.1).
  • Amends § 8.01-405 to authorize licensed court reporters to administer oaths and affirmations.

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PO Box 12317

Norfolk, VA 23541

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