Please Read the Transcript of this Article Back to Me…
There is a very interesting article in the Kansas City Star today about a provision in a bill passed by the legislature to lower the standards to be a court reporter in Missouri. The bill has been passed but not yet signed, so I say that means this is a good time to discuss it. I have some familiarity with court reporters, so I don’t come to this issue completely unarmed. My general feeling about occupation regulation is that it is ludicrously overdone here in Missouri, and many other states. At some point in the future somebody here at SMI, perhaps this author, will probably do a study on it. Anyway, what should we do about this provision?
In my opinion, occupations in the legal field have a stronger argument for regulation than many others. Everyone agrees that cops should be trained and certified. In theory, all that is supposed to matter in the law is what is right, and the consequences of actions and decisions are far more serious then your haircut. That being said, as I read this article, the bill in question merely allows uncertified court reporters to perfom some actions (depositions, not courtroom work) and both attorneys have to allow the uncertified reporter and agree to the work after review. Seems to me like a pain in the
ass rear to do all that, frankly, when you could just hire a certified reporter. Representative Shannon Cooper, who sponsored the legislation, is absolutely right when he says certified court reporters, like every regulated occupation, are just trying to protect their turf and keep out competition. However, that in and of itself does not make them wrong.
Final judgement? This is not a bad idea. If attorneys choose to go the extra mile to use an uncertified reporter that they like, that is fine. However, on the long list of regulated professions, there are many worse examples of unnecessary and burdensome requirements than those for court reporters. Now, please repeat back to me what I wrote in paragraph two.