Minimum Transcript Format Standards
The Court Reporters Board of California hereby adopts its regulations in Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations. January, 2000.
Adopt section 2473 to read as follows:
2473. Minimum Transcript Format Standards.
- A reporter licensed under Chapter 13, Division 3 of the Code shall comply with the following transcript format standards when producing a transcript in a legal proceeding. If a reporter is employed by a court, either as an official or pro tem official reporter, the transcript format set forth by state or local rules of court, or adopted by that jurisdiction, if any, will supercede. If there are no transcript format guidelines established within a jurisdiction, the following minimum transcript format standards shall apply:
- No fewer than 25 typed text lines per page;
- A full line of text shall be no less than 56 characters unless timestamping is used, in which case no fewer than 52 characters shall be used on a full line of text;
- Timestamping may only be printed on a transcript under any of the following circumstances:
- when a deposition is videotaped;
- when requested by counsel on the record, or
- when a transcript will have not less than 56 characters per line.
- Left-hand margin is defined as the first character of a line of text;
- Each question and answer is to begin on a separate line;
- Text is to begin no more than 10 spaces from the left-hand margin with carry-over colloquy to the left-hand margin including "Q" and "A" Symbols;
- Carry-over "Q" and "A" lines to begin at the left-hand margin;
- Colloquy and paragraphed material to begin no more than 10 spaces from the left-hand margin with carry-over colloquy to the left-hand margin;
- Quoted material to begin no more than 14 spaces from the left-hand margin with carry-over lines to begin no more than 10 spaces from the left-hand margin;
- Parenthetical and exhibit markings of two lines or more shall be no less than 35 characters per line; and
- In colloquy, text shall begin no more than two spaces after the colon following speaker "ID."
- Failure to comply with these minimum standards, as noted above, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 8007, 8008 and 8025, Business and Professions Code; Reference: Section 8025, Business and Professions Code, Section 11425.50(e); Government Code.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Minimum Transcript Format Standards
The Court Reporters Board (CRB) continues to receive questions regarding the applicability of California's Minimum Transcript Format Standards (MTFS). A simple rule of thumb for court is that UNLESS a licensee is employed by a court and acting in the capacity of an official or pro tempore reporter and such court has in place its own transcript format standards set forth in state or local rules of court, California's MTFS are applicable. A simple rule of thumb for depos is use the California MTFS UNLESS the jurisdiction in which the case is venued has its own MTFS.
Question 1: Does the California CRB have the legal authority to discipline a California licensee for NOT following another jurisdiction's format?
Answer: Yes, pursuant to Title 16, Section 2473(b).
Question 2: Is the legal authority to enforce another jurisdiction's format held by that other jurisdiction's Board or reporter supervising entity?
Answer: The California CRB has jurisdiction to enforce all California laws and regulations related to the practice of certified shorthand reporting. Thus, under Title 16, Section 2473(b), if a licensee is required but fails to use the transcript format standards of another jurisdiction, both the California CRB and the other jurisdiction's enforcement authorities would have jurisdiction to discipline the licensee.
Question 3: Would the California CRB discipline a licensee if a transcript format complaint is received from another jurisdiction's Board or reporter supervising entity?
Answer: The California CRB has the authority and jurisdiction to investigate complaints from any source alleging violations of laws and regulations related to the practice of certified shorthand reporting. Discipline is but one of several possible outcomes following investigation of such complaints.
Question 4: If a licensee reports and transcribes depositions in a U.S. District Court (federal) case, are California's MTFS applicable?
Answer: Yes. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) do not specify transcript format standards for depositions.
Question 5: If a licensee reports and transcribes depositions within California in a case venued in a state other than California, are California's MTFS applicable?
Answer: If the jurisdiction in which the case is venued does not have a minimum transcript format, then, yes, the California's MTFS applies.
Click here for a PDF STANDARD TRANSCRIPT FORMAT EXAMPLE.