Online transcript repositories that share or sell documents to attorneys are growing by the day. These repositories make available many court proceeding documents and information to lawyers and also to the public. Transcripts may also be sold at reduced rate in exchange for other transcripts to attorneys. For the court reporters selling of these documents is part of their income and is their legal right.
This practice can be dangerous as a lot of personal information gets posted online without control and can put people at risk as their personal information like for example credit card number is made public and can be illegally used.
Remember these online repositories / websites are basically different from the court websites that always publishes public documents or only after redacting.
Considering the risks involved in making public transcripts without authorization the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) gave a statement on their position on the issue. It believes that unless certain guarantees are offered these repositories should be prohibited from distribution of legal transcripts. These are the guarantees.
- Private and confidential information as identified by current federal guidelines has been redacted from the transcript.
- Only those transcripts that have been made part of the public record, either through filing with a court or through the permission of the parties and the deponents, are posted online.
- The posting party has confirmed that such a practice does not violate rules and regulations governing the terms and restrictions on the distribution of transcripts.
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