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Samex 1, LLC v. Bruce Buschman, 2011AP2634, District 1, 6/26/12

court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication)

¶2 n. 1:

If this appeal were not moot, our resolution of the appeal would have been difficult, if not impossible, because the transcript is not very helpful; there are more than two-dozen instances of “(Indiscernible)” or “(indiscernible)” in but a twenty-one page transcript.  Additionally, one of the sworn witnesses is merely identified as “A FEMALE.”  (Bolding omitted.)  The circuit court is responsible for the court reporter assigned to its court, and must ensure that this does not happen again.  See Wis. Stat. § 752.02 (“The court of appeals has supervisory authority over all actions and proceedings in all courts except the supreme court.”)  The circuit court must ensure that whatever electronic recording is made is sufficient for the purposes of an appeal.  See ibid.  A copy of this opinion shall be sent to the Honorable Jeffrey A. Kremers, Chief Judge, Circuit Court, Milwaukee County.

As courts have explained on numerous occasions, the appellant typically suffers the consequences of an inadequate record, if for no other reason than that when the appellant fails to include in the record on appeal all items essential to decide the issues raised, the appellate court assumes the missing portion supports the circuit court’s ruling, e.g., Fiumefreddo v. McLean, 174 Wis. 2d 10, 26-27, 496 N.W.2d 226 (Ct. App. 1993). But a somewhat different and more interesting problem arises when the transcript is so garbled it can’t possibly support review – with respect generally to inadequate transcripts, see State v. Perry, 136 Wis. 2d 92, 401 N.W.2d 748 (1987).

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