The Wisconsin Court Reporters Association (WCRA) has received increasing complaints related to Wisconsin's law that prohibits unlimited contracts for court reporting services.
Vol. 81, No. 9, September
Wisconsin law prohibits unlimited contracts for court reporting services
The Wisconsin Court Reporters Association (WCRA) has received
complaints related to Wisconsin's law that prohibits unlimited contracts
reporting services. It appears that numerous law firms are being
directed by their
insurance company clients to use specific court reporting firms because
the client has arranged
for volume discounts and direct billing under an unlimited, long-term
a particular court reporting firm. Long-term, unlimited contracts with
court reporters or court reporting firms operating in Wisconsin are
under Wisconsin law.
Wisconsin statutorily prohibits unlimited contracts for court
services.1 In general, depositions may not
be taken before "a person who has entered into a
contract for court reporting services unless
the contract is limited to a particular action
or incident."2 This statute was
designed to end the practice of entities who are
frequent parties to litigation from entering into long-term, unlimited
Wisconsin court reporters or court reporting firms operating in
Wisconsin under which the
parties receive volume discounts, priority status, early transcripts,
and so on. Accordingly,
if a contract for court reporting
services3 is entered into for any deposition
in Wisconsin, then the contract with the person taking the deposition
must be limited to
a particular "action or incident."
If this statute is violated by a party to a deposition, the
opposing party may
either refuse to proceed with the deposition or may move to have the
There is also the potential for recovery of fees and costs by the
This statute applies to any deposition taken in Wisconsin. It
does not matter
whether the parties to the deposition are from outside of Wisconsin.
depositions in Wisconsin, this statute must be followed.
It is a violation of the statute even if the reporting firm has
a contract with
both parties to a case. The statute prohibits a long-term,
undefined contract regardless
of whether both parties have entered into this kind of contract.