I'm a small OC Cal agency that does occasional work in SF and Sacramento.  My client blew a gasket when he received a bill that included the Appearance Per Hour fees that the Sacramento reporter charged me that I passed on to him.   I have seen them range from $100 for the entire day to $42 per hour on top of a $____  page rate.   

I'd love some feedback about how these rates and additional fees are explained to clients and what is actually the standard in Northern California.



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I don't get an appearance fee from the main firm I work for, just the page rate.  Some reporters charge an hourly fee and some don't.  I know we get the per diem in court/arbitrations/hearings, but we don't get appearance fee for depos.  One agency I work for charges 20.00 an hour that is given to the reporter. 

I get the 40.00 per hour if it's after 6:00 p.m. or waiting time.  $42.00 an hour on top of the page rate is extreme I think.  If I were you, I'd find a reporter that doesn't charge a appearance fee.  If I'm getting my roughs or realtime, I could care less about the appearance fee. 

By the way, I took out the page rate you had above because we are not supposed to talk about rates.  Hope you don't mind.

I know you are asking about California, but I'm going to chime in.  In Kansas and Missouri we charge appearance fees in addition to our page rate.

In Connecticut, in New Jersey, and in New York, appearance fees are charged, as well.

I guess the only thing you can tell the client is different areas of the country -- even within the state -- charge differently, and that that is the customary billing model for No Cal.  I'd just try to assure the client that you did your due diligence regarding reporters/rates in that area and those are customary charges.

Appearance Fees in depos are standard in Georgia.

Attendance is reasonable and customary and I've never not charged it.  With rates not climbing at all (I've been charging the same rates for a decade), I would never accept a job without it.  I charge a flat rate from 9-6 and an hourly rate before 9 and after 6.   I also have a waiting time fee which I use in a case of I arrive for a 10 a.m. dep, say, and am told "Oh, we forgot to call that the dep is starting at 1."  So I charge 3 hours waiting plus attendance.  Happens rarely but it's a line item just in case.   

Well, I live in Northern California and I'd say it's 50/50; some charge and some do not.  You can always negotiate this fee with any reporter you're using you know.  All rates are negotiable.

I'm in Northern California, and most firms I work with charge half day or full day along with the page rate.   The agencies that do not pay the appearance fee are the firms that receive their work through a network that won a contract to do all the insurance companies depos at a certain rate.

I'm not a court reporter and have dropped out of my home study efforts due to illness.  However, I may need a court reporter in the future so I called around for rates in San Francisco.  The one agency that provided information said it was $600 plus for a half day plus 2.85 per page.  And if you don't order a transcript it's over $700.  It all sounds very steep and I'm wondering if these rates are standard.  I hope the court provides a court reporter, or other alternatives.

Thanks for any comments.


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