Last month I was a court reporter for an all-day deposition. At the end of the day, as I was packing up, I overheard an attorney mention the case might settle. In an effort to do the right thing, I offered to hold my notes and not transcribe the deposition for a few days to save everyone money. BIG MISTAKE. I had this conversation with only one party being present. The attorney was grateful for the offer and agreed to let me know if they would need the transcript.
Our firm’s turnaround time of transcripts is seven business days. On the tenth day, the attorney that was not present for the “hold notes” conversation after the deposition called wanting to know what was going on, “Is there gamesmanship happening? We count on your firm getting the transcript out at least by the tenth day. Why isn’t the transcript out yet?”
CA CCP 2025.510(a) states: “Unless the parties agree otherwise, the testimony at any deposition recorded by stenographic means shall be transcribed.”
I apologized to the attorney, admitted I had made a mistake in offering to save the parties money, and promised to get the transcript out immediately.
While my intent was to do the right thing, save litigation costs, I was wrong and should have thought of the consequences of not having all parties present for the conversation.
It is also interesting to note, CA CCP 2025.510(b) states: “The party noticing the deposition shall bear the cost of the transcription, unless the court, on motion and for good cause shown, orders that the cost be borne or shared by another party.”
In the above scenario, if the attorney whom had asked me not to transcribe my notes asked me to never transcribe my notes, and the other side wanted the transcript, the noticing attorney who didn’t want the transcript would be responsible for payment unless the court orders otherwise.
Being a great court reporter means to always be conscious and transparent in every agreement and conversation.
Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)