I got this post from a friend of mine, and I'm posting it for her because she is clearly disturbed and wants other reporters to be aware of this situation.  I already am, but maybe others are not so aware.


I had done a deposition for [reporting agency name]  this week, and it's definitely not [reporting agency's name] fault and I'm not blaming them, but the attorney was from [law firm]  in SF, [atty name], and the plaintiff's attorney was also from San Francisco.  It was a group employee grievance against Rite-Aid.  Because it was a So. Cal. case the attorney from [law firm]  stipulated away the original to plaintiffs so then plaintiffs did not order a copy.  Obviously we can't let this become a standard practice in No. Cal.  We have to make sure the word gets out so that the attorney can never get another reporter to work for him again if he continues to make it a practice.  What do you suggest? 


Honestly, I can't remember how to get on your site.  Are there other sites I can also put the word out?  I'm pissssed.  We both know if the atty. is from So. Cal., we're taking our chances but I recognized the plaintiff's attorney from other cases and I think of him as being a pretty nice guy and he definitely would have ordered a copy if [atty firm]  didn't make the offer.  Walk me through your site please and let me know of any other sites you may be aware of.  I'm on a mission! 

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(I changed my mind).

I think it's important for reporters in No. Cal. to know if they are scheduled for a Rite Aid case, the original is going to be stipulated away by an experienced SF defense litigation atty to an experienced SF plaintiff's attorney.  It is your choice to take the job or not.  I personally would choose not.  If attorneys in No. Cal. start stipulating away the originals, it's a practice that will be adopted by other attys in the area and over time No. Cal. will be in the same situation as the So. Cal reporters and it will become acceptable/normal practice.  I feel strongly we all need to do whatever we can not to allow that to happen.   If the attorneys can't get a court reporter to work for them, hopefully they'll change their minds.


I can understand being angy about the practice and speaking out against it.  I wouldn't want to work where every case is just one copy.  It's my understanding that you go by the rules of the case jurisiction, not local rules.  I hope that practice doesn't spread.


I don't think mentioning the details and identifying agencies, firms, lawyers, and the case name is a good idea. 


My understanding is that there is zero copy sale in this case due to the creepy attorneys and their little deal-making with each other, a move that directly adversely impacts the working stiff court reporter.  I appreciate the names and details because if I'm per chance asked to take this case, I will decline.


"Because it was a So. Cal. case the attorney from Paul Hastings stipulated away the original..."


It was based on the case jurisdiction, not a side deal.  It just seems to me the question to ask when deciding to take a job or not is the jurisdiction of the case. 


I don't like it at all when side deals are made.  That happens too often where they make the deal within my earshot. 

[[  It was based on the case jurisdiction, not a side deal.  It just seems to me the question to ask when deciding to take a job or not is the jurisdiction of the case.  ]]


I've taken deps in many CA cases with that stupid stip at the end but the other side still ordered.  I go to the attorney at the end, order sheet & pen in hand, to "confirm his/her order" and they sign.  This only happens if the taking attorney shuts the hell up and doesn't interfere as in "Oh, you don't have to order; you'll get it when you have the witness read & sign" or some such BS.  

I assume from the tenor of the original post that the Paul Hastings lawyer did exactly this.   If not and the poster is simply bitching about the "stip" and assumed the other side wouldn't order and didn't even ask, then different story.

What is the stipulation, Marge? 

It's the "relieve the court reporter of his/her duties" stip that CA attorneys say in Superior Court of the St of CA cases.  This oftentimes results in the other side not ordering, either figuring that they'll steal the R&S transcript of sometimes the taking attorney will encourage it by saying "Oh, you don't have to order; I'll give it to you" or some such awfulness.

Short and sweet of what I am thinking, sounds like the defense is pretty confident they are on top and didn't see the need to spend the money for a transcript. They may consider the lawsuit frivilous and the insurance company did not authorize the attorney to buy the transcript. 


Court reporters consider it ordering.  Insurance companies consider it buying.  The insurance company probably told the attorney they do not want to buy the transcript.  The attorney has to comply with what his client is willing to spend on a lawsuit, otherwise, the attorney's firm will pay the cost (not recovered by the insurance company.)  I have seen this many times, where our insurance rep said, "We didn't authorize and we will not reimburse you."  I did attorney billing in two of my jobs - and I understand.

Okay.  I probably should have taken out the law firm name, etc.  I just did to be on the safe side.  I think everyone gets the picture, though.


I worked in Southern California for 10 years and that's just how it is; attorneys always stipulate away the original.  I always say now, "Why do you want to fund the plaintiff's case?  That's what you're doing by letting them have the original."  Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. 


I remember going to this one job that I had been on and literally eight or nine of my original "photocopied" transcripts were in a stack piled up.  I was so pissed.  The attorney was so blatant about what he was doing.


I don't think I've come across that yet.  Now I'll be tipped off if I hear that stipulation language.


I've had a party sign an order form for the transcript, then write to cancel the order, when reading and signing was requested.  If the agency was local, they would have to come in to read and sign.  The agency was out of state, so I'm assuming they just got free copies. 

It's been too many years since I have had a real CR job.  You all need to speak up!!! 

If you go on a depo and they don't order remind them that is your work product and is not to be copied without your being compensated.  If you later find they copied your depo without paying you, then send all the attorneys a bill.  I had no problem advising them (years ago).


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