Supply the Full Trial Transcript or You Will Lose Your Appeal

Cable v. Rodig, 2011 WL 3425570 (App. Div. Aug. 8, 2011).  In order for an appellate court to understand what happened below, and to review those goings-on, the appellate court needs the full transcript of those proceedings (absent an application to abbreviate the transcript).  That is why Rule 2:5-3(b) requires the appellant to furnish “the entire proceedings in the court or agency from which the appeal is taken.” 

In this case, the appellant, Cable, did not supply all the transcripts.  In a per curiam opinion, Judges Fisher and Grall affirmed the decision below “on the ground that Cable has failed to establish error warranting relief.”  Without a full transcript, the panel could not “place in context the documentary exhibits” that had been provided (citing Rule 2:6-1(c)), “verify the factual allegations” made by the parties in their briefs (citing Rule 2:6-2(a)(4)), or “assess the merits of Cable’s claims of error.”  The panel was also unhappy that Cable’s counsel had certified that the transcript of the entire proceeding had been supplied when that was not in fact so.

The lesson here is a simple one:  the full transcript is essential, as the Rules state.  If the appellant does not submit the full transcript, the appellant risks dismissal for failure to demonstrate error, not merely for the technical failure to provide the full transcript.