Everything You Need to Know About the Clerk’s Transcript in the Record on Appeal

The appellate record plays an essential role in any California Court of Appeal matter. A complete and accurate record is critical to ensuring your appeal is adequately and fairly considered. The clerk’s transcript is one form of the written record that satisfies this requirement. No matter the nature or complexity of your civil appeal, you deserve an appellate law firm that understands the rules. Your California appeal deserves Gusdorff Law.

Basic Written Contents of Records on Appeal

California Rules of Court, Rule 8.120 requires a record of written documents from the superior court proceedings in one of the following forms:

  • Clerk’s transcript
  • Appendix
  • The original superior court file, if a local rule of the reviewing court permits this form of the record
  • Agreed statement; or
  • Settled statement

Also, if the appellant intends to reference the record of an administrative proceeding, it has to be included in the written appellate record.

Specific rules govern each of these above elements, including the clerk’s transcript.

Designation and Contents of the Clerk’s Transcript

Rule 8.122 governs preparing the clerk’s transcript for the Court of Appeal’s review. The appellant shall prepare a notice designating documents to be included in the transcript. The notice must identify each document by its title, filing date, or date signed (if the filing date is unavailable). It may specify portions of designated documents not to be included in the transcript.

Within 10 days of the appellant serving this notice, the respondent may designate additional documents for consideration.

The clerk’s transcript must contain certain documents, including:

  1. The notice of appeal
  2. Any judgment appealed from and any notice of its entry
  3. Any order appealed from and any notice of its entry
  4. Any notice of intention to move for a new trial or motion to vacate the judgment, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or for reconsideration of an appealed order, and any order on such motion and any notice of its entry
  5. Any notices or stipulations to prepare clerk’s or reporter’s transcripts or to proceed by agreed or settled statement
  6. The register of actions, if any

For items 1-4 above, the document must show the date. This is to ensure the Court of Appeal knows the appeal is timely.

If designated by any party, the clerk’s transcript must also contain:

  • Any other document filed or lodged in the case in superior court
  • Any exhibit admitted in evidence, refused, or lodged
  • Jury instructions that any party submitted in writing, the required cover page, and written jury instructions given by the court

This all must be done within certain timeframes after the appellant pays for the transcript or is granted a waiver.

Trust Your Appeal to Experienced Counsel

Other rules apply to specific situations, such as the appellant who chooses to use a court reporter’s transcript. As with all such matters, it is best to have knowledgeable legal representation to guide you through this process. That’s where Gusdorff Law comes in. For questions about appeals, clerk’s transcripts, and more, give us a call today.

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