I took an all-day depo and after the deposition, the attorney asked for a "rough draft".  So after going home and working on it all night, I sent him a "rough draft."  The next day he asks me to read from the "rough draft" certain sections into the record, which I complied.  The opposing counsel objected, of course, and made a comment that now an uncertified transcript is "in the record."  I don't usually add what I read into the record word for word.  I always put in a parenthetical.  (Record read as requested.)    I"m curious as to what I should do now.  Has this ever happened to any of you?  Also, they had me read back at least like 20 times during this deposition.  If I put in what I read, wouldn't I have to do that for every single time I read back?  Any advice would help!!

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Comment by Eric Gilliam on August 26, 2012 at 9:15

"yourself," not "yoursel."  I HATE that!

Comment by Eric Gilliam on August 26, 2012 at 9:08

I'm with the Kelli(e)s on this.  I put in a blurb quoting exactly what I read back, flubs and all.  I, too, write out the words QUESTION and ANSWER, as in Kellie's example. Also, I sometimes leave out counsel's false starts and stutters or whatever when I read back a question so it's more clear for the witness.  The record needs to reflect exactly what was read back.  Also, with video, my stumbly bumbly readbacks are there for all the world to hear anyway, so I might as well put it in the transcript and at least get paid (even if only a little) for my humiliation. 

As far as reading back from a rough draft from a previous day, I would have declned to read from a rough draft (or any other document) and suggested if counsel wanted something read into the record from a document (official or not), he should do it himself.  At least in California, you're there to take down what is spoken on the record, not read documents into the record yoursel.  The law does not require you to read from any extraneous documents, and a rough draft is a document, not your notes. In CA, you are required to read back from your notes (though I'm confident we all read the text from our screens).  But you don't have to explain all that or give any reason for refusing.  It's their job to know the Code when they take a depo.  Just don't do it.  You can rest assured opposing counsel would have something to say about that whole idea of reading a rough of a previous day into the current record (as happened in your case), and one needs to keep oneself out of that fray. 

Comment by Debbie Taggart on August 18, 2012 at 9:13

Laura,  I don't know if you were doing a continuation of the same witness or not, but wouldn't reading back rough draft from volume 1 of a witness be just like reading back regularly.  I mean, when we read back, we're always reading the rough.  Supposedly, it's accurate, but we all know that sometimes we invert words on readback, or mumble through the part we're not sure of. 

If it were a different witness, I don't know.  That might be different in that you might be inserting an uncertified transcript as testimony, in which case you might put that into your readback parenthetical, something like, "The uncertified rough draft from the deposition of XX was read as follows:"

Comment by Amanda Leigh on August 14, 2012 at 9:40

Never thought about it in those terms, that a readback doesn't particularly need to be exact with what is transcribed because it is simply a "rough-read" (wrapping head now).  I usually just put (Record read.), but sometimes I will quote--especially if there are a lot of them and I nail 'em.  If I don't nail 'em, I usually won't do the quote (but I have before when I got most perfect and there were a lot and I had one that didn't make it to perfect).  I would never quote what I did not read--I quote what I read, meaning that if I messed up in any way, that's what goes in--not what was transcribed.

And I would not read from my rough draft or any other document.  If it is the current proceedings, I will read back; but I am not going to read from any other source.  They can read it, and I'll be happy to take that down.

Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on August 14, 2012 at 9:24

What's the difference between reading a rough draft and reading from your notes?  It's still all a rough till you've edited it/checked audio, etc.  I'm not sure I understand the distinction, Amanda.

Comment by Amanda Leigh on August 11, 2012 at 17:44

If I nail the readback(s), I quote them.  If I flub, I put the parenthetical.  I stay consistent.  I would NOT, however, read from a rough draft or anything except my notes.  I am not there to read anything into the record, period.

Comment by Judy on August 9, 2012 at 7:04

Quyen, I don't if this reporter is still doing it, but her husband is an attorney and he told me that's what she does, just plays back her audio. 

Comment by Quyen on August 8, 2012 at 22:08

I do what you do, Kellie. I write out the word for QUESTION and ANSWER to make the literal distinction between the Q and A.

Comment by Kellie Zollars on August 8, 2012 at 22:02

I also put everything that was read back. And you need to be consistent and put every single time you read back.  I write out the word question and answer so there is no confusion as to what is read back and what is actual Q & A.    

          (The record was read by the reporter as follows:  

          "QUESTION:   What color...? 

          ANSWER:  Blue.")         

Comment by Quyen on August 8, 2012 at 20:08

Laura, as far as what to do, to quote or not to quote, if you feel your rough is as good as your final, I would go ahead and quote your read-back in the parenthetical.  If not, then just do the (Record read) or whatever your parenthetical is without the quote.  If it is unclear to them what you read back, it's really, technically, not your problem, and that way it's not "on the record."

Do you have a standard disclaimer that goes out with all your roughs?  When the transcript is finalized without your readbacks  quoted and if either attorney has a problem with that, you could just tell them that it is by code that the rough cannot be used/cited, blah, blah, blah, to rebut the certified transcript, so you were not going to put it into the transcript when you read back.  They can't argue with that.

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