I'd like to hear what cancellation fees reporters are getting for a few different scenarios, as I have had so many cancellations in the last two months:

1. Walk in, told it's not going, walk out.

2.Set up, wait around while settlement discussions are going on or waiting for witness or atty who never shows, pack up leave

3. Cancels within an hour of depo start time.

4. Cancels after 6:00 p.m. the night before.

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I have a line item for each one of these scenarios.  Email me at marge201 at gmail for the dollar figure that gets plugged into each line.

1.  waiting time (hourly rate)

2.  cancellation after 5 p.m. (flat rate; waived if I did NOT turn something else down)

3.  cancellation after I get to job (no setup)  (higher flat rate+ waiting time + 100% reimbursement of all expenses)     

4.  cancellation after I get to job (all set up) (higher flat rate + waiting time + 100% reimbursement of all expenses)     

5.  statement on record (setup; flat rate)     (higher flat rate + waiting time + 100% reimbursement of all expenses)     

Nobody is able to pay health insurance premiums on these rates but it's certainly better than nothing.   Been there done that with each of these scenarios.  

If I don't have to leave the house, I don't charge a fee.  Example, I get a call the morning of the job before I leave the house.  I don't charge for that.  However, if I get the call on the freeway, I'm charging for it.

Scenario 1, I charge the regular cancellation fee (can't post rates here).

Scenario 2, depending how long I have to wait, I will charge an hourly fee along with a cancellation fee.

Scenario 3, I charge a cancellation fee

Scenario 4 I talked about above, don't charge a cancellation fee.  I realize I am left without a job.  It is my preference, though, not to charge a fee.

Thanks for the responses.  I also feel as if the law firms haven't been as diligent as they used to years back in confirmation of depos.  When asking if the depo is on, we hear the phrase "Well, we haven't heard otherwise" from the attys when confirming depos. 

That is so unacceptable.  My motto is YOU PAY YOU GET as in you (the lawyer) pay for the privilege of a court reporter showing up (and giving up a day of earned income) for your deposition that you haven't bothered to confirm properly.

There are reporting firms that charge a late cancel fee if the attorney's office doesn't call before 5:00 the day before the deposition.   The videographers and the interpreters have been charging these fees (which are higher than ours) for years!  Some videographers even charge a 24 or 48 hour cancellation fee.  We really need to value our own time.  I find it hard to believe an attorney wouldn't bill their client if they got to a depo that didn't go forward.  

Yes, bill hourly for wait time. 


Kellie, I completely agree with you.  My fees are in line with videographers'.  I am an experienced, certified professional, NOT a dish rag.

I think interpreters bill a hefty cancellation fee also

We bill the full fee for cancellations with less than 24 hrs notice, at last in California is in the labor code.

Teri Szucs
323 251 3291
Federal and California Court Certified Spanish Interpreter


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