One trend that is popping up within the court-reporting profession in South Carolina is for the court reporter to provide minimal verbiage on the transcript certificate for a deposition. Whether your record is for the purposes of the presentation of evidence or impeachment, you should expect the testimony you are securing to be reliable, and that trustworthiness is established by the transcript certificate attached by the court reporter before whom the deposition was taken.
Here are two elements we think need to be incorporated into a certificate so that the testimony contained therein is not suspect.
Certificate Language for Completeness of Record
South Carolina Rule 30(c) states, “All objections made at time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition.”
Language that attests to the completeness of the officer’s record should be included in the court reporter’s certificate. Samples of the elements to be included in the certificate are below.
- Testimony of the deponent and all objections made at the time of the deposition were recorded stenographically by me and were thereafter transcribed by me or under my direction.
- The foregoing deposition as typed is a true, accurate, and complete record of the testimony of the deponent.
Transcript Certificate Language for Impartiality
Rule 28 (c) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure says, “No deposition shall be taken before a person who is a relative or employee or attorney or counsel of any of the parties, or is a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or is financially interested in the action.”
Here is a sample of the language that should be included by the court reporter in a transcript certificate for a deposition.
- I certify that I am neither related to nor counsel for any party to the cause pending or interested in the events thereof.
Transcript certificates can be easily overlooked. Make sure you read the details contained within your court reporter’s transcript certificate.