If the judge says something like, "We are now proceeding outside the presence of the jury," do I still need a parenthetical saying that the jury has left the courtroom?  And if so, do I also need one saying that they returned to the courtroom?  It looks kind of funny having a recess parenthetical and then right below it a jury returning parenthetical.

Thank you in advance,


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Since nobody else commented, I will.  You are making a record, a complete record.  Yeah, your transcript should have when the jury left, and when they returned.  If you think it looks funny, a transcript isn't a perfect book.  Transcripts do at times look funny, or don't fit a perfect book.

I am a freelancer.  I have covered one jury trial so I am no expert and I defer to all the wonderful officials.

I had a great official send me a sample transcript of how she put together her transcripts and, yes, she did it they way you suggest.  Even though the judge had said that the jury was not in the room, the parenthetical indicating the jury had left the room was in the transcript.  A parenthetical indicating the jury had returned was in the transcript.  She put in a parenthetical indicating when the defendant left the courtroom and when he returned to the courtroom.  She put in parentheticals when someone stepped into the witness stand and when they stepped down from the witness stand.  It was quite interesting.  

A simple parenthetical is always the best choice.  There may be times when the judge may not remark that the jury is present/not present, and this format is a standard that provides continuity in the record. Auto indexing format codes inserted into parentheticals is a good addition to an index so the reader can see at a glance when breaks/recesses were taken and when/where the jury was before the court or not before the court.

(Open court - jury not present.)

 ----note:  here is where the proceedings continue without the presence of the jury.  The judge then asks that the clerk retrieve the jury and bring them in.

(Pause in the proceedings.)

(Open court - jury present.)

-----note:  the jury enters the courtroom and proceedings continue with the judge remarking and making the record that the jury is present.

There may be a time when all the jurors but one is before the court, and this is a setup for that scenario:

(Open court - jury not present.)

 ----note:  here is where the proceedings continue without the presence of the jury.  The judge wants to speak to Juror No. 7 only, so the clerk retrieves Juror No. 7 from the jury room.

(Pause in the proceedings.)

(Open court - Juror No. 7 present.)

-----note:  Juror No. 7 enters the courtroom and proceedings continue.  The court then calls the remaining jurors in after speaking to Juror No. 7 on the record.

(Pause in the proceedings.)

(Open court - jury present.)

---note:  proceedings continue here with all of the jury panel present.


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