Are Transcript Sharing Networks Legal In Your State?

I was sent this website for a transcript network business. The idea is that plaintiff attorneys submit transcripts and then everybody can benefit from those transcripts. I’m a big believer in free information and sharing knowledge, but this kind of thing does have the capability of cutting into reporter incomes. According to my Stenonymous source, it is also illegal in California.

Transcript Network Company

Now, it’s worth restating that this really does seem to violate the law, Government Code Section 69954 says, in pertinent part, “…shall not otherwise provide or sell a copy or copies to any other party or person.” Although, we live in such a pro-business country that I bet they’ll declare corporations not to be people or some other backwards legal justification.

There’s also some concern this violates CCP 2025 according to my source. 2025.340(e) seems to point at it being illegal for court reporters and agencies to sell transcripts or personal identifying information to others, but it’s not clear to me that attorneys are barred from sharing under 2025, because 2025 is quite long.

The takeaway? Reporters in states with copy protection might want to see if this company or others like it are doing business in or have a registered address in their state. The locations posted for this company are New York, California, and Wisconsin. Having to compete in places where it’s legal is fine. But where companies have to violate the law to create transcript sharing networks, the law should be changed or the behavior should be disallowed. I don’t support the status quo of being a nation of unenforced laws or letting corporations rob people. I’m hoping most of you feel the same.

4 thoughts on “Are Transcript Sharing Networks Legal In Your State?

  1. These portals started many years ago. There was a time when we sold expert depos to other attorneys before all the restrictions on party privacy, et cet. As far as sharing, if my agnency owner heard of a client giving a copy away he would send a bill subsequently and they paid it. If we heard it at the depo, an occasional send me a copy, we sent a bill for original & two copies. But then when we went electronic and the etrans came into being, it started spreading. We did our best to put it to rest; we spoke to attorneys, staff, our office, later our reps. Before it got too out of hand asked state associations and NCRA to work the issue. There was so much that could have been done before it got out of hand. But apparently it wasn’t their priority. We haven’t given up. Recently I gave all my talking points to agency management and they are aware of the issue and have made an effort to start to work on it already. What you just posted is something I didn’t have. the government rule. Need to get more info on that. I also tried to work with local clerk of courts to lock motions with transcripts attached. Witnesses should also probably come onto a site to read. Just hear a story. Attorney said he didn’t need a copy. His client went to read. Read the whole thing into Siri on a computer and then they printed it. I am going to ask another new reporting organization if they want to take on the issue. I am starting to slow down my career but I really have felt career violated. One of our talking points is an ethical rule: Attorneys should not deprive anyone of their income.

    1. I’m glad you found this helpful. To be honest, I’m shocked that people play such games just to avoid paying us.

      Then on the other end of the spectrum some agencies seem to be padding bills. So attorneys are getting screwed just as bad as reporters. But that’s for another blog. Maybe Monday.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing all you’re doing! Keep it up!

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