Recently we received an 11 1/2 x 14 1/2 envelope addressed to Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky in our Louisville office. As I held the envelope, experience told me what was inside. The envelope was just the right size and just the right weight to contain a returned transcript. As I began to unseal and open the envelope I braced myself for the added work any returned transcript brings.
The brown-clasped envelope had a return address of Kentucky Labor Cabinet, Department of Workers’ Claims, Frankfort, Kentucky. Inside was indeed a transcript, an unbound, single-sided transcript with a few color exhibits, a few single-sided exhibits, and a very few two-sided exhibits; an official-looking letter sat atop the hundred-plus page transcript. Adjusting my glasses I began reading the letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern.”
The letter read “Effective March 1, 2013, depositions, hearing transcripts, and other pleadings or documents with printing on both sides of the paper will no longer be accepted by the Department of Workers’ Claims. If you wish the enclosed document to be filed with the Department of Workers’ Claims, you will need to resubmit as one-sided documents.
“If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (502) 782-4578 and I will be happy to assist you. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.”
The letter was signed “Sincerely, Fran Davis, Director of Information & Research.”
“Goodness,” I thought, “the State of Kentucky spent $5.43 to return a hundred-plus page single-sided transcript with only three pages of double-sided original exhibits? What sense does that make?” Not following the logic here at all, I decided to call Frankfort and inquire into the reasoning behind returning the transcript.
I called the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims and spoke with Fran Davis and asked for a clarification of the single-sided page requirement. Fran was pleasant and polite as we spoke and she told me she specifically remembered our transcript, that she was the one that made the call to return the transcript. Fran explained the hassle double-sided documents can cause at times, older copiers and frequent machine jams were mentioned.
I asked, “Does the Commissioner want court reporters to make physical changes to original exhibits, taking what was tendered and entered into the record as a two-sided document and change it to a single-sided, multi-page document?”
Fran thoughtfully heard me out as I shared my concerns and objections with her. She thanked me for calling and sharing my concerns. She asked for some time to speak with the Commissioner and get some clarification on the single-sided document policy. She said she’d get back with me so I gave her my contact information and hoped for the best.
Knowing how slowly the wheels of the government can turn, and knowing the 4th of July was the following day, I got busy copying and scanning the double-sided exhibits and converting them into single-sided, multi-page exhibits. I thought it could be days, even weeks, before I heard from Fran again, but that was not to be the case.
After speaking with Fran, I believe she understood the gravity of manipulating original records. I think after we hung up she immediately sought out the Commissioner and shared my concerns. The outcome of their discussions is exactly what I had hoped for.
I am, with Fran’s permission, sharing with you her email to me containing the Commissioner’s updated and clarified position on the filing of depositions, hearing transcripts, and other pleadings or documents with printing on both sides of the paper:
“I have clarified with the Commissioner and we will accept the transcripts along with the double sided exhibits when you receive them in that fashion. It is only the transcripts that need to be single sided as we do not wish for you to alter the original exhibits. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If you would share this information with the others that had questions relative to exhibits, that would be terrific. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will be happy to assist or seek clarification.
“Have a terrific 4th!
“Director of Information and Research
“KY Department of Workers’ Claims
So, there you have it! Transcripts are to be filed with printing on one side only; exhibits can be doubled sided if they were tendered and entered as such.