COCRA Files Opposition to ER in Family Law
The following letter voicing COCRA’s opposition to ER in Family Law has been filed with the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System.
This letter affirms COCRA’s belief that ER has no place in Family Law proceedings and that its implementation in those courts may have severe negative economic effects on litigants in Family Law matters.
February 2, 2016
Honorable Carol A. Corrigan
Commission on the Future of California’s Court System
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Justice Corrigan:
The members of California Official Court Reporters’ Association, (COCRA), are in opposition to Concept 5’s proposal to allow for expanded use of electronic recording in our court system. We strongly urge the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System to remove that particular recommendation from their report.
We have attached COCRA’s most recent Preserving Access to Justice Task Force Report. As you can see from the report there are numerous cases cited of digital recording malfunctions across the nation.
In addition to malfunctions and incomplete transcripts, electronic recording is not a cost savings. The technology is expensive to purchase, to maintain and to operate. The transcripts that are produced often have “inaudible” portions throughout. The cost of the transcripts created from electronic recordings are more expensive that the ones produced by the official reporters. The transcriptionist needs to listen to the tape numerous times to decipher what is being said, thus taking more time to create a transcript and driving up the cost.
With an official reporter, if the reporter doesn’t hear what is said, the reporter can ask the speaker to repeat.
Having electronic recording in Family Law denies equal access to the litigants. Appealing a decision with an electronic recording that has been transcribed makes for an incomplete record. Every time an “inaudible” appears in the transcript some of the meaning of the testimony is lost.
Please review the attached PAJTF report. We believe you will agree that having a court reporter in court is the most efficient and cost-effective way to maintain the record.
Anne M. Hall
President, California Official Court Reporters’ Association
Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor
Honorable Kevin DeLeon, President Pro Tem of the Senate
Honorable Toni Atkins, Speaker
Honorable Anthony Rendon, Speaker-elect
Honorable Hannah Beth Jackson, Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
Honorable Mark Stone, Chair, Assembly Judiciary Committee
Honorable Mark Leno, Chair, Senate Budget
Honorable Shirley Weber, Chair, Assembly Budget
Honorable Loni Hancock, Senate Budget Sub #5
Honorable Reggie Jones Sawyer, Assembly Budget Sub #5
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