0

I was reviewing a deposition and noticed the following characters used as cute little dividers in the transcript:

---oOo---

To see an example in action, look here, both on the directly linked page and throughout the document.

This looks very nice, but I wouldn't have expected to see this in an official legal document. It appears several other times throughout that deposition transcript, as well.

However, I have reviewed several other depositions from the same case and haven't seen any such dividers. But when I Googled it, I found some other depositions with the same set of characters used as decoration from other cases.

Is this a well-known convention? Does anyone know the history of it, or the reasoning behind it? Can a court reporter make the executive decision to include these types of decorations?

  • Could be a signature of the transscribtor – Trish Feb 25 at 15:08
  • Do you have an example? This could just be artifacts from OCR for example (some ornaments). – ShreevatsaR Feb 26 at 19:00
  • An example can be found here and multiple times throughout this document: books.google.com/… It doesn't look like OCR artifacts to me. – ribs2spare Feb 26 at 19:35
7

It's a typographic divider line dating back to the days of typewriting; there's a passing reference to the practice on the Typography for Lawyers website.

Standards for formatting documents -- especially those being uploaded as text into online repositories -- are generally set by the local jurisdiction; some courts may specify exactly how and where to use this sort of spacer; others may not allow it at all.

For example, this E-File Manual for the Ventura (Calif.) Superior Court specifies "There is NO blank line between the ' ---000--- ' and the caption," whereas the Typography for Lawyers sample document from the Supreme Court of Utah uses "----ooOoo----".

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I assume ----ooOoo---- is supposed to be stand-in for what in even older times used to be a fairly elaborate handwritten cursive divider with loops and curls. – Ross Ridge Feb 27 at 3:26
  • Thank you!! This is such an excellent and thorough answer and exactly the kind of information I was hoping for. I've actually been to the Typography for Lawyers website, but I never noticed that decoration until now. Thanks again for taking the time to write this answer! – ribs2spare Feb 27 at 14:13
0

Is this a well-known convention? Does anyone know the history of it, or the reasoning behind it? Can a court reporter make the executive decision to include these types of decorations?

This is not a standard symbol and is likely an in house indicator of the firm making it or the software that the use.

I very much doubt that it is decorative. It is probably designating where one physical medium or file containing the source material for the transcript ends and a new one begins, or indicating the beginning and end of a formatting section.

Given that this was done in 1986, it was probably done on a typewriter rather than on a computer word processor, and the source material was probably a roll of receipt sized paper, rather than an audio recorder, taken with a shorthand typewriter.

A court reporter has discretion to the extent that a court rule does not provide otherwise, to make typesetting decisions in the same way that the precise font is usually not mandated by rule, likewise, court rules don't usually say where on the page a page number must be located.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.