A lawyer questioning a suspect

Court Reporters, Attorneys and Judges: Who Gets the Transcripts?

Even if we haven’t been in litigation ourselves, we have seen photos or movies of court reporters focused as they capture every word said in the courtroom. They use their transcription machines, which in turn modifies their shorthand keystrokes into real time transcripts of the proceeding. The transcripts capture every word said during a court proceeding memorializing everything that was asked and answered.

But in Family Law Court, the judges do not automatically receive a copy of the transcript of the courtroom conversation. This may seem surprising and there can be inherent problems with this fact. This is because family law cases typically take place in various segments over the course of several days, even weeks, with nothing going on between hearings. Attorneys and clients can never safely assume that the judge has good or correct notes, or that they perfectly remember events from prior proceedings which may be very relevant to your next court appearance. 

Transcripts Provide Clarity and Assurance of the Stated Facts

Even attorneys do not automatically receive copies of transcripts. Often it is wise for the attorney to spend the extra money to order a copy of your transcript of key testimony and “lodge” it with the court for the judge’s reference. 

To be certain that the judge is given every opportunity to clearly understand the facts and nuances of a case, family law attorneys have several additional gambits at their disposal. Your lawyer may also want to submit a brief to the court, respectfully reminding it of past key testimony and citing it to the appropriate sections of the ordered transcript. He/she may also request the opportunity to orally make a closing statement before the judge makes their ruling. It is surprising how many lawyers skip this critical step. It can be quite helpful to refresh the court’s memory of key testimony and of any confusing testimony that attorneys might be concerned about. 


At Buncher Family Law, we pride ourselves in taking these critical steps to be certain our client’s interests are clearly stated and heard. It is in their best interest that court proceedings get followed up by sharing the court transcripts with the judge.

If you have any questions about how the divorce process works or what the nuances are that we take to make sure our clients’ cases are thoroughly heard and understood, please give us a call.  Scheduling a Clear Legal Strategy meeting may help you find the right path to resolve your family law issues.

Posted in Court Preparation, Family law tips.