Adapting to California Court Reporting Changes

California court reporters are among the many victims of drastic budget cuts sweeping through the state judicial system. According to Silicon Valley’s Mercury News, Governor Jerry Brown and the California legislature reduced the state court’s budget by $350 million in 2012 and 2013 isn’t looking much better. State courts are expected to see additional budget cuts of an estimated $200 million.

This dismal trend has certainly been felt in the San Diego court-reporting field. JD Supra Law News reported that as of November 5, 2012, the San Diego Superior Court only provides court reporters for criminal hearings and civil cases. As an effect of this cutback, the court was stripped of 30 San Diego court reporter positions. But this is just the beginning. The San Diego court system is expected to reduce the budget by an additional $33 million and implement 50 to 75 additional layoffs.

Other cities are experiencing the same hardships. The Los Angeles Superior Court let go of 60 official court reporters last year, reducing the budget by $10.2 million and this year will only bring more reductions. San Francisco court reporters have felt a similar squeeze, laying off 24 court reporters in 2011 as the trend towards privatizing court reporting continues to increase.

As court reporters in San Francisco all the way down to San Diego continue to get laid off, it has become incumbent upon the litigators to arrange their own reporters. Though some courts are turning to recording devices as an alternative, many civil cases so not allow this as an option. The risks of having no record of legal proceedings are daunting, and parties are grappling with the loss of opportunities for appeal since appellate courts require written transcripts.

To compensate for this void, many litigants are turning to companies like Aptus to provide skilled court reporters. At Aptus, a talented and reliable team can pick up the slack generated by these budget cuts, mitigating the disadvantages of the court’s shortcomings. Whether you’re looking for a San Francisco court reporter or your needs are in San Diego, Aptus has multiple offices on the west coast that can deliver quality court reporting services exceeding your expectations.