The Record on Appeal in Federal Cases

Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure lays out the composition of the record on appeal as well as how it should be obtained.

Your federal appeal record should contain all original papers and exhibits filed at the district court level, a full transcript of the trial, and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the district clerk.

Who Must Order the Record and When?

It is the duty of the appellant (person appealing the result at trial) to order the record. It must be ordered within 14 days after filing a Notice of Appeal or “an order disposing of the last timely remaining motion” (allowing specific motions to be made after the completion of the trial).

The transcript must be ordered from the court reporter and must be made in writing. The cost of the transcript is paid by the government under the Criminal Justice Act. The appellant must also file a copy of the transcript order with the district clerk or file a certificate stating that no transcript will be ordered.

What If No Transcript Is Available?

If a transcript of a hearing or trial is unavailable, then the appellant may prepare a statement of the evidence or proceedings, from their best recollection. The statement must be served on the appellee, or government, who may have objections and proposed amendments. The government has 14 days to suggest changes to the statement. The statement as well as any objections or proposed amendments are submitted to the district court for settlement or approval. Once settled or approved, the statement must be entered into the record on appeal by the district clerk.

In the alternative, both parties may submit an agreed statement as the record on appeal. It should be prepared, signed, and submitted to the district court with a statement showing the issues presented by the appeal and how they were decided by the district court. The district clerk will then send the record to the circuit clerk and a copy of the agreed statement will be kept on file.

What If the Record Is Inaccurate?

If there is a mistake in the record regarding what happened in the district court, then the correction or modification must be submitted to and settled by the court. The record should be altered accordingly.

If either party or any material evidence was left out or misstated in the record by accident, then that may be corrected. A supplemental record may be certified and filed with the court. In order to make these changes, the modifications must be made either by agreement of the parties, by the district court before or after the record has been forwarded to the circuit court, or by the court of appeals. Any other questions regarding the form and content of the record must be presented to the court of appeals.

  1. The Record on Appeal in Federal Cases
  2. The Record on Appeal in California Cases
  3. Why You Need an Appeals Lawyer When Obtaining the Record on Appeal

The Record on Appeal in California Cases

California Rules of Court Article 2 addresses the Record on Appeal. There are two types of records: Written Documents and Oral Proceedings.

The record of written documents in a California case should include one of the following:

  • Clerk’s Transcript
  • Appendix of the Case
  • Original Superior Court File
  • Agreed Statement of the Parties
  • Settled Statement

There should also be a record of oral proceedings which is what occurred at the trial. That record may include the following:

  • Reporter’s Transcript
  • Agreed Statement of the Parties
  • Settled Statement

Who Must Order the Record on Appeal in California?

The appellant has 10 days after filing the Notice of Appeal to serve and file a notice to the superior court designating the record on appeal. The notice to the superior court must specify the date on which the Notice of Appeal was filed, lay out the form of the record of the written documents (one of the above options), and state whether the appellant wants to proceed with or without the record of the oral proceedings in the trial court. If the appellant wants to obtain the record of oral proceedings, they must state which format will be selected. The clerk will promptly send the appellate court a copy of the notice.

Clerk’s Transcript

The appellant has 10 days to serve a notice designating the clerk’s transcript. The respondent may also serve and file a notice to the superior court designating any additional documents they want to be included in the transcript.

The clerk’s transcript should include the following:

  • Notice of Appeal
  • Judgment of the Superior Court
  • Any Order Appealed
  • Any Notice of Intention to Move for a New Trial or Motion to Vacate Judgment
  • Notices or Stipulations to Prepare Transcripts
  • Register of Actions
  • All Documents Filed in the Case in the Superior Court
  • Any Exhibit Admitted as Evidence, Refused, or Lodged
  • All Jury Instructions

Reporter’s Transcript

The reporter’s transcript must state the date of each proceeding that is included in the transcript and may specify portions of the designated proceedings that are not to be included. Certain portions of proceedings may not be included if the appellant does not raise issue with them.

The appellant must serve and file a notice designating a reporter’s transcript, and then the respondent has 10 days after that service to file a notice with the superior court designating any additional proceedings they want in the transcript.

The appellant is not required to order a reporter’s transcript, and the respondent cannot require that one be prepared. Any cost of the reporter’s transcript is paid by the appellant.

The reporter’s transcript contains a certified transcript of all designated proceedings that are related to the appeals issues. If witness testimony is included, the reporter must transcribe the entire testimony unless the parties stipulate otherwise.

  1. The Record on Appeal in Federal Cases
  2. The Record on Appeal in California Cases
  3. Why You Need an Appeals Lawyer When Obtaining the Record on Appeal

Why You Need an Appeals Lawyer When Obtaining the Record on Appeal

Although the record on appeal may seem like a straightforward document stating what happened in your case, there are complex issues that can arise. The record must be carefully reviewed for mistakes and those mistakes must be brought to the court’s attention promptly. If you want to include additional information, that request must be made in an appropriate manner. A criminal appeals lawyer can help you make sure that you obtain the record on appeal and use it to properly benefit your case.

Contact Spolin Law P.C. About Your Appeal

If you feel like there was a mistake made during your trial, you may have a right to appeal the outcome of your case. Spolin Law P.C. has award-winning appeals lawyers who understand the law and know how to get a successful outcome. Call attorney Aaron Spolin and his legal team at (310) 424-5816.