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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!
Gwen, you make an excellent point. That is how I've always viewed the stip, that it's our duty that cannot be stipulated away for us without our consent. If ALL reporters would take this position and stand firm on it TOGETHER, I believe we could do away with the stip altogether. We would also need the CR firms' full support in this.
I'm from So Cal.
You'll never get the firms' support. Seriously, if reporters in So Cal start outwardly messing with the way attorneys conduct (what they believe to be) their stips, they'll just move on to another CR firm. If your clients start losing their clients, I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happens to you. In this economy, everybody is struggling to retain their client base. And since a lot of court reporters are struggling to fill up their weeks nowadays, it's just a line through a name on an overflow list and moving down to the next available reporter, and the agency's problem is solved.
Yeah, I'm familiar with the "if we don't do it, someone else will" mentality as it pertains to clients. So doing away with the stip will never happen anytime soon.