Rough Draft Deposition Transcripts

| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

It is important to understand the differences between a rough draft transcript and a final certified deposition transcript.

A rough draft can be easily distinguished from the final by the header and/or footer and the lack of certification mark on the cover. 

Following are portions of a statement regarding a rough draft transcript, taken from the Court Reporters Board of California:

"The realtime/rough draft text is unedited and uncertified and may contain untranslated stenographic symbols, an occasional reporter’s note, a misspelled proper name and/or nonsensical word combinations. . . Due to the need to proof and correct entries prior to certification, you agree to use this realtime/rough draft text only for the purpose of augmenting counsel’s notes and not to use or cite it in any court proceeding or to distribute it to any other parties."

No portion of a rough draft may be used in court as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.540(b) which reads as follows:

"When prepared as a rough draft transcript, the transcript of the deposition may not be certified and may not be used, cited, or transcribed as the certified transcript of the deposition proceedings. The rough draft may not be cited or used in any way or at any time to rebut or contradict the certified transcript of deposition provided by the deposition officer."

A rough draft is an valuable and useful tool. However, if any portion of the deposition transcript is needed immediately for court citation, remember to order an expedited final transcript.  

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