Why is StoryCloud offering digital reporters?
In California, there is a critical lack of Certified Shorthand Reporters. Many are retiring at an increasing rate. Moreover, almost no one is choosing to enter the field.  With the chronic shortage of resources, Certified Shorthand Reporters are frequently charging a premium fee just for taking the job forcing attorneys and their clients to pay additional unwarranted expenses.

StoryCloud transcripts are at least 30% less expensive.

As a practical matter, 99% of all cases never go to summary judgement, hearing or trial.  As every litigator knows, and as a general rule, the deposition is used to settle the case.

During the deposition, what are the differences between traditional stenographic court reporting service and digital court reporting?
Traditional stenographic court reporters use a stenographic machine to record the proceedings. StoryCloud digital reporters use a series of redundant computers to record the proceedings. The digital reporter, who is a notary and officer of the court administers the oath to the witness, handles the exhibits and certifies the transcript.

What are the differences between the work product provided by a Certified Shorthand Reporter and a Digital Reporter from StoryCloud?
Nothing.  StoryCloud provides a nearly 100% accurate transcript.

StoryCloud uses software and audio to create a verbatim record of the proceedings.  A Court Reporter uses a stenographic machine to produce a transcript.

What are the procedural differences between a stenographic reporter and a digital reporter?
California Code of Civil Procedure, Conduct of Deposition 2025.330 calls out for the specific use of a certified shorthand reporter (CSR) to record the deposition stenographically. However, if both parties stipulate to the use of audio and video, this too can be used as an alternative means of documenting the record.

CPC 2025.330 

(a) The deposition officer shall put the deponent under oath or affirmation.

(b) Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, the testimony, as well as any stated objections, shall be taken stenographically. If taken stenographically, it shall be by a person certified pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 8020) of Chapter 13 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(c) The party noticing the deposition may also record the testimony by audio or video technology if the notice of deposition stated an intention also to record the testimony by either of those methods, or if all the parties agree that the testimony may also be recorded by either of those methods. Any other party, at that party’s expense, may make an audio or video record of the deposition, provided that the other party promptly, and in no event less than three calendar days before the date for which the deposition is scheduled, serves a written notice of this intention to make an audio or video record of the deposition testimony on the party or attorney who noticed the deposition, on all other parties or attorneys on whom the deposition notice was served under Section 2025.240, and on any deponent whose attendance is being compelled by a deposition subpoena under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2020.010). If this notice is given three calendar days before the deposition date, it shall be made by personal service under Section 1011.

(d) Examination and cross-examination of the deponent shall proceed as permitted at trial under the provisions of the Evidence Code.

(e) In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may transmit written questions in a sealed envelope to the party taking the deposition for delivery to the deposition officer, who shall unseal the envelope and propound them to the deponent after the oral examination has been completed.

Equally important is the use of the audio video testimony.  Section 2015.530 specifically addresses when there is no stenographic transcription.

CPC 2025.530

(a) If there is no stenographic transcription of the deposition, the deposition officer shall send written notice to the deponent and to all parties attending the deposition that the audio or video recording made by, or at the direction of, any party, is available for review, unless the deponent and all these parties agree on the record to waive the hearing or viewing of the audio or video recording of the testimony.

(b) For 30 days following a notice under subdivision (a), the deponent, either in person or by signed letter to the deposition officer, may change the substance of the answer to any question.

(c) The deposition officer shall set forth in a writing to accompany the recording any changes made by the deponent, as well as either the deponent’s signature identifying the deposition as the deponent’s own, or a statement of the deponent’s failure to supply the signature, or to contact the officer within the period prescribed by subdivision (b).

(d) When a deponent fails to contact the officer within the period prescribed by subdivision (b), or expressly refuses by a signature to identify the deposition as the deponent’s own, the deposition shall be given the same effect as though signed.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (d), on a reasonable motion to suppress the deposition, accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, the court may determine that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.

(f) The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to suppress a deposition under this section, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.

What is your general guidance on how best to use a digital reporter from StoryCloud?
Digital reporting may not be right for every case matter in California.  If possible, when there is a meeting of the minds from the taking and opposing counsel, simply have both parties stipulate to the use of audio video for the record. 

Disclaimer: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Because the law differs in each legal jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on your location or situation, you should not rely upon the materials provided in this FAQ or web site without first consulting an attorney with respect to your specific situation. Further, the use of and access to this web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and StoryCloud.