When people face the judge and/or jury in a United States court-of-law, they have certain rights. One of these rights, as decided by the California Supreme Court just recently, is to have a court reporter provided during a case, regardless of whether or not a person can pay for their services. Court reporters are critical to a case, in that they record everything that was said during the trial. Essentially, they help to recreate the trial scene by writing everything that happened.

The California Supreme Court ruled that indigent people should have access to a free court reporter during their case. This stemmed from a case where a homeless man exercised his right to represent himself in court in a medical malpractice claim. He was told he would not be given a court reporter due to state budget cuts, but that he could pay for a cheaper shorthand reporter. Although the San Diego Superior Court dismissed his case three times, the California Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed the decision each time.

Whether people decide to represent themselves in court or choose to hire legal counsel to help them with their case, they still have rights that should be upheld. If you are the victim of legal malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. It is crucial that you find aggressive legal representation that will ensure your case was handled correctly and take action if it was not.

Source: ABA Journal, “California Supreme Court rules indigent litigants are entitled to free court reporters,” Lorelei Laird, Jul 6, 2018.