On October 1, 2011, the Georgia Board of Court Reporting held a town hall
meeting in Savannah, Ga., on all current issues of concern to Georgia court reporters. Among the subjects covered were
third-party contractual relationships among court reporting firms. Board Chair Benjamin Perkins began the meeting by
noting that the Board takes this issue very seriously and intends to take whatever steps are necessary to enforce the statute,
but couldn't comment on pending grievances as these are governed by strict confidentiality rules. However, if someone
believes a violation has occurred, they can file a complaint and are encouraged to include evidence supporting the allegations.
The Board has confirmed that they received
multiple inquiries and allegations regarding improper contracts for court reporting services. The Board has also indicated
that they will be working to guarantee compliance among court reporting firms and insurance companies as substantiated complaints
of the third-party statutes contracting has recently been picking up steam in Georgia. Recently, an Atlanta court reporter
met with the state Insurance Commissioner to request that insurance companies receive formal notification that Georgia has
an anti-contracting statute regarding court reporting services. The Insurance Commissioner will be requesting a letter from
the Board of Court Reporting, which will be sent out under the Insurance Commissioner's stationery to insurance companies
doing business in the state to ensure awareness of Georgia's anti-contracting statutes.
NCRA's Task Force on Contracting closely followed the proceedings
and assisted the Georgia Shorthand Reporters Association and the court reporters who attended the meeting in developing questions
to ask of the Board of Court Reporting. The task force plans on working with NCRA's state affiliates to empower real change
in the states that are dramatically affected by the questionable, and often illicit, practice of third-party contracting.
NCRA will continue to assist GSRA in its efforts to compel enforcement of the statute and maintain the high ethical standards
of the reporters in Georgia.