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Recently I have had the opportunity to speak to attorneys and paralegals about some of the issues that court reporters have as “Keepers of the Record.”  After all, the attorney’s job is to make the record, and the court reporter’s job is to preserve or keep it.  Over the next few weeks, I would like to share some of the areas of the discussion and some of the real-life scenarios that court reporters face and the code sections that apply to these scenarios. 

According to CCP 2025.320, the deposition officer shall not be financially interested in the action and shall not be a relative or employee of any attorney of the parties, or of any of the parties.  I like to remind everyone at this point that this is one of the reasons your reporting firm is asking you for a copy of the notice.  In smaller communities, it is quite possible that a reporter would know a deponent or a party to an action.  Without that information before the day of the deposition, a reporter who may be unable to handle the assignment because of such a conflict could be sent to the deposition.  The goal is to avoid that.  If that were to happen, a reporter would need to notify all present immediately of the possible conflict.   

CCP 2025.320 also states that services or products offered or provided by the deposition officer to any party or any party’s attorney shall be offered to all parties or their attorneys attending the deposition.  No service or product may be offered or provided to any party or any party’s attorney unless the service or product is offered or provided to all parties or their attorneys attending the deposition.

What does that mean in the real world?  Well, it means, for example, if a reporter has been called and asked to provide a rough transcript to one attorney on the case, that reporter would be required to ask all parties or attorneys on the case if they, too, would want to order a rough transcript.  If other rough transcripts were ordered, subject to payment terms, they all would need to be sent, usually by email, at the same time.  There are no "secret" orders for any service that is ordered, and there should never be preferential treatment to any party or any party’s attorney.   

Next week, more on CCP 2025.320.

Christine Randall, RPR, CSR No. 5598