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Our client was in LA today taking a depo and we told her not to stipulate away the Original. Well she refused to do the Stip and just called saying the other side is absolutely furious with her, demanding that she do so and also asking for the codes regarding this. I explained to her that you cannot relieve the Court Reporter of her duties. I actually feel sorry for putting her in this position.
We've had a little push back before from LA attorneys but nothing like this. Has anyone else?
Tell her to tell them that she paid for her O&1, and if they want a copy, they are more than welcome to purchase their own. There is nothing in the code that says she must agree to their stip. She should ask them to show her the code that requires her to acquiesce to their demand. She can tell them that she is actually FOLLOWING THE CODE, and they are going around it.
What Quyen said is true. But attys have been making the So. Cal. stip since the 1960s, so for them it's become written in stone. Most of them are ignorant of this part of the code. They are just given a standard stip by their law firm and read it out loud at the end. So I'm not surprised that you got a lot of pushback from opposing counsel. The No. Cal reporters have the advantage that their clients are used to following the code. You've probably seen the bewilderment that ensues at the end of a depo when you get a No. Cal and So. Cal atty together! Neither one understands what the other is talking about. And yes, So. Cal attys believe they have a right to get that orig. sent directly to them (esp. plf's attys, who depend on that so they can save the expense of paying for it). It's a difficult situation for sure.
Just my observation but it appears as if the SoCal Court Reporters are not making their displeasure of this practice known to the Attorneys.
I run into this issue all the time as an agency owner, and I personally refuse to send the original to the Plaintiff attorney, stipulation on record or not. I'm willing to hold my ground and deal with the judge/opposing counsel if needed. This is a ridiculous practice solely designed to relieve opposing counsel from paying for a transcript, which is actually putting my own client in a negative position. I've had push back in the past where my client was called and opposing counsel was furious about it, but I calmly explained that either opposing counsel can pay for their own copy, or if the client wants to pay for the copy to be sent to opposing counsel, we can do that as well. That usually does the trick and turns on the light bulb. If more of us would stand firm against this practice, maybe it would send a message.
And as an aside, just because something has been in place for a long time doesn't mean it's an acceptable or ethical practice..
Much as I'd like every job to be at least an 0&2, I still think this argument is one best made by the agency to their client outside of the depo setting. If I've been reporting all day and they whip through the stipulation at the end, the last thing I want to do is interrupt the proceedings and take everyone by surprise by refusing to accept their stipulation they've been making for years and years and then have some private discussion with my client and attempt to explain the law to him and get him to change the way he's always been doing things. Frequently the attys are young associates that don't even have the authority. I'd like the agency to do the heavy lifting on this - it's their client, not mine.