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You've been informed correctly. The case has to be over before you can get the entire transcript. In my experience, the appellate lawyer orders the transcript and gets a copy of the important papers from the trial lawyer as well.
What's immediately most important, however, is that a notice of appeal be filed as quickly as possible after the sentencing, so that the defendant is not precluded from appealing. After that, there will be time to get the transcript and for the appeal itself to be filed.
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