Hi everyone, I was asked by Jackie Schmidt , the editor of the Journal of Corut Reporting to write an article on the business aspects of being an official court reporter. I figured I'd start here at CSR Nation.

Let me ask: As an Official Court Reporter, do you consider what you do a business, and if so why?

Thanks for all your help and send me any additional comments you may have.

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Certainly everything I do with reporting is a business. It really seems self-evident to me. Pro tem court work is part of what I do for a living, therefore, it's my business.

Possibly I don't understand the question.
I agree with you, Cathryn and I guess the way I phrased the question does make it seem self-evident.

I guess what I mean is when you are in the role of a Pro Tem, what do you do to market your services to the attorneys who appear before you? What are some of the procedures you use for collections, receiving transcript orders. Do you shop around for the best price in supplies which I guess is a business decision we're all making these days. Stuff like that. Do you, as part of your business use a scopist so you can take on more work? How does professional education fit into your business equation?

I hope this helps in answering my questions
Good questions. I do what is customary in the county where I pro tem. I don't particularly market my transcripts. I charge the page rates that the other reporters charge; the county lets us decide, and we agreed on a rate for consistency's sake. I give an estimate, and transcription begins once I receive their check. I always give them a longer estimate for the time it takes to delivery just in case something comes up and I can't deliver on an earlier date.

I buy most of our office supplies in bulk. Unless I know of a good deal locally, I go to Froogle.com and enter the name of the item I want. I have gotten some excellent deals that way.

The price of gas has factored into my decision to seek a position in the courts as opposed to freelancing. Fortunately, I find that working in court does suit me very well, at least in this particular county, and I am definitely interested in the right officialship. I don't use a scopist.

I am thinking more carefully about where my professional education dollar goes these days. I absolutely insist on learning something significant if I invest time and money. A good buy for me are the Eclipse tutorials. You take a test, send it in to the E-Power people who grade it and send it back to you, and you send notice of a passing grade to NCRA with, of course, the inevitable check. I pick and choose the conventions I attend. I always get a great deal out of the DRA convention and events, so that's a place where I do not hesitate to invest money and time.

Hope these random thoughts are helpful.
Excellent, Cathryn. Very helpful thoughts. Pardon me for not being clear the first time.
Actually, the decision to turn to official work is largely a business decision in and of itself. The price of gas, the 4:30 p.m. cancellation of next day's job, arriving after an hour's drive at a job to find the case settled have all taken their toll. The so-called freedom of freelancing comes at too high a price for me. An interpreter said to me last week, "Yeah, you make your own schedule, but these days, who can really afford not to work every day?" So true, for me, anyway (sigh).

Looking forward to the article.


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