Court Reporters, The Keepers of the Record – Part 3

thBU8VO9V3Continuing on, let's talk about the rough draft and its use and CCP 2025.540(b). Technology and the use of computer-aided transcription in the court reporting community years ago made it faster than ever to see and capture realtime testimony during a deposition or to easily have a rough draft of the transcript available to litigators at the end of the deposition or shortly thereafter.  This was not the case years ago when the only option a litigator would have would be an expedited transcript, which usually meant delivery within a few days of the deposition. 

Before I go further, let me say a rough transcript in the reporting world would mean an unedited transcript that probably would not have been proofed by the reporter, and it may or may not contain untranslated stenography.  Certainly it’s every reporter’s goal to send out the best rough draft possible with the time allotted, but be certain it is not a certified transcript. 

There is no question the rough draft transcript is popular and a useful tool for litigators.  They are valuable for prepping for the next witness, reviewing what was said,     et cetera.  However, if you want to use a rough draft to prepare a motion or to cite testimony in moving papers, you may want to consider CCP 2025.540(b).  It says that when prepared as a rough draft transcript, the transcript of the deposition may not be certified and may not be used, cited or transcribed as the certified transcript.  The rough draft may not be cited or used in any way or at any time to rebut or contradict the certified transcript of deposition proceedings as provided by the deposition officer. 

On a daily basis Wood & Randall and its court reporters deliver rough draft transcripts and expedited certified transcripts.  We do not question what they are used for but only hope this discussion is helpful when making decisions on whether to order the expedite or the rough. 

Next time, CCP 2025.310.

Christine Randall, RPR, CSR No. 5598