If a Court Reporter Isn't There, Is It in the Record?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Philosophers disagree on the answer to this venerable question, as is their way. But if something is said in a trial court and no reporter is around to record it, you can be sure of the answer: there was no sound. One of the immutable rules of appellate law is that “if it is not in the record, it did not happen. ”In Jameson v. Desta, the California Supreme Court had occasion to reflect on how crucial a verbatim transcript of trial court proceedings can be to an appeal. The presence of a court reporter is so important, the court decided, that inability to pay cannot be a barrier to engaging a reporter in a civil action. Plaintiff Jameson faced a number.....MORE