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Just spoke with an agency about a very, very troubling issue. They say rough drafts are being provided without charge, if you do realtime on a case. What!?!?!? I don't do realtime or rough draft for free. WHY are reporters accepting this? Yes, times are tough, but you have to be tougher. JUST SAY NO to this practice. Do you like doing work for nothing? I am just disgusted by what we are not being paid for anymore.
There have been roughs that I have spent HOURS on, as she wanted a clean line-by-line check.
I always cringe when I hear about people spending so much time on roughs. I don't think we're doing ourselves a favor when we do that. It's as if we're giving attorneys an almost-free expedite at just rough rates. Often I sell a rough *and* an expedite, so I don't want the rough to *replace* the expedite.
But if you're doing that, Christie, I agree you should be paid. No one works for free.
I also think if someone is spending three hours on cleaning up a rough draft, they shouldn't be doing realtime for attorneys yet.
Thank you, Janet and Judy! I'm excited to start realtiming for myself. I have so much to learn. I am still learning the new software, but I will get there. Finding the extra time to learn software is hard, but I am trying. Thanks so much for your answers, I really appreciate it!
Carol, I would HIGHLY suggest trying to attend one of the seminars that Cindi Hartman with Stenograph does. Also, to learn editing from the keyboard, I'd suggest some one-on-one training. Both can be invaluable tools. Once you start doing realtime for yourself, you will be amazed at how your writing improves.
I take out all untranslates, put in all names that I can find/ask for and do a spell check; you can find tons of errors just with a spell check. Anyway, that's it.
I do know reporters that spend hours on their roughs, but I assume that's because they're not a clean writer and not necessarily because they want it perfect. I could be wrong, though.
That's what I do, Kelli. I edit from the steno machine as I go, defining terms. I check any spots I have marked, then do a spell check. The rough draft is a cleaner copy than the realtime feed.
" . . . if one orders a rough after, in the spirit of everybody being on the same page, I will cc the atty that had real time-no extra charge. I do ONE job and disseminate."
To me, while this sounds like a nice thing to do, it is a problem on a few different levels, with all due respect. For one thing, not charging a party devalues our services for that party. For another, giving one party a rough draft for the same price as giving the other party realtime *and* a rough draft is preferential treatment, IMO. That's something we don't want to even appear to be doing in our role as objective third parties.
My way of dealing with this is to charge a higher price for realtime and include a rough automatically, and charge a lower price for just rough.
I just did old say no. I was told that the combination rough/realtime was packaged and that the two products could not be billed separately. If reporters are willing to do this, our expertise and experience really is diminished as well as our bottom line!
There are always reporters willing.
As you would expect, from a free country.