New Law Gives Official Reporters E-Filing Options
ARE YOU READY TO E-FILE?
Earlier this year, COCRA President Anne Hall communicated to the membership that COCRA would work openly and transparently with all unions, associations and stakeholders to ensure that official reporters’ comments and concerns were heard regarding procedures for e-filing. The goal was to ensure that any e-filing procedures enacted would be fair and equitable for official reporters, the legal community, and the public at large.
For the last several months, COCRA’s leadership, along with SEIU, AFSCME and IFPTE, three powerful unions representing official reporters across the state, have worked tirelessly to make certain that the e-filing requirements are in fact fair and equitable, and we believe we have succeeded.
On October 6, 2017, AB1450 was signed by the Governor. This bill, which language amends CCP 271, will require an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore to deliver a transcript in electronic form, in compliance with the California Rules of Court, to any court, party, or person entitled to the transcript.
It is anticipated that amendments to the Rules of Court pertaining to preparation of transcripts on appeal will be adopted by the Judicial Council at their November meeting and will have an effective date of January 1, 2018.
The substantive amendments include, but are not limited to the following:
- Electronic transcripts must be in full-text searchable PDF
- Electronic transcripts must include electronic bookmarking
- Electronic transcripts must also be electronically signed
- Reporters will have a five-year grace period to move to e-filing
- Reporters may, with exceptions, continue to file paper transcripts during the five-year period
In addition, this bill provides that an official reporter or official reporter
pro tempore is NOT required to use a specific vendor, technology, or software to be in compliance with CCP 271.
What Does This Mean for Official Reporters?
You Have Options
You do NOT have to purchase any additional third-party software.
Your current CAT software should be utilized, and has the technological capability to be, in compliance with nearly all the amendments to the Rules of Court.
The major CAT software vendors, including Stenograph and Advantage Software, are aware of the proposed changes to the Rules of Court, and you can be assured they are working towards total compliance within the five-year statutory grace period allowed under CCP 271.
Early next year, COCRA plans to offer a one-day seminar focusing on CAT software training where you will walk away with all the tools necessary to electronically file your transcripts with ease and in compliance with the Rules of Court.
Please feel free to reach out to COCRA at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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