Court reporters don’t have the luxury of assuming different states and regions all operate in the same way or have the same rules and laws that apply. When reporting a deposition in a matter that is in a jurisdiction that is not familiar, it is important to pay attention and ask questions. There may be stipulations that are typical in certain states or geographical areas. For instance, the waiving of signature is rare in California and typical in other parts of the country or certain types of litigation, such as asbestos. If the signature is waived, it should be noted, and no signature line be provided. Out of habit or a macro, I have seen court reporters insert signature lines and penalty of perjury clauses on transcripts when they are not called for.
Some states are known to court reporters as “nonwrite-up states.” Those are the states wherein attorneys have the custom and habit of not having a deposition transcribed until they believe they will need the transcript for a hearing or trial. California is not one of the nonwrite-up states.
What California is, and which is unique, is it’s a state with a code section that gives the court reporter direction as to whom to charge for the transcript if opposing counsel orders it transcribed and the noticing attorney has asked that the court reporter to not transcribe the stenographic notes.
California Codes, Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.510 (a) reads: Unless the parties agree otherwise, the testimony at any deposition recorded by stenographic means shall be transcribed. (b) The party noticing the deposition shall bear the cost of that transcription, unless the court, on motion and for good cause shown, orders that the cost be borne or shared by another party.
I have had the situation in which one of my clients has asked that a transcript not be produced. The opposing counsel wants to purchase a copy. In this scenario, I believe this code section triggers the noticing attorney to have the responsibility to pay for the original and one, even if she/he doesn’t want the transcript, unless the parties come to an agreement otherwise.
I understand that Washington State is a nonwrite-up state, and there is no such language in their state codes. Therefore, the Washington State court reporters have to be very careful and not assume a transcript will be written up, always ask; and if opposing counsel orders a copy, it has to be very clear who is going to pay for the transcribing of the original and one. Florida is another nonwrite-up state. I am sure there are others.
Being a great court reporter takes a lot of skill other than just writing steno fast. They have to know the laws that govern their profession. It truly is amazing how wonderful court reporters are and what they do every day. I am proud to be a court reporter.
Kramm Court Reporting Facebook