One of the agencies that I know sent out a job offer to Massachusetts for a three-day job that needed covered.  This reporter, who I won't name, picked up the job.  She's had the job for over a month and not turned it in.

Finally, she turned in the first two volumes with multiple mistakes.  She still has not turned in the last transcript.  She turned in a rough because the court reporting agency had to have something to give to the attorney because he's going to trial.  The rough ASCII was literally unreadable. 

Now, I don't understand why a court reporter would take work through this website if they are so incompetent that they cannot turn the work in.  I wish there was a way I could filter all the bad apples off of here.

The agency owner called me and wanted to know if there is a way that I filter the qualified reporters from the incompetent reporters.  I told her no, I have no way to do that.  Once I hear someone has done a poor job, I ban them immediately from the website.  I'm a full-time reporter myself; there is no way for me to filter through thousands of reporters.

I'm just very frustrated about this situation.  This is not the first time it has happened either.  There must just be a lot of lousy court reporters out there I guess.  Unfortunately, it looks like it cost this agency their client.  Unbelievable. 

Reporters:  Please don't take work from this website if you can't handle the work.  You're giving my website a bad name!!

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I've noticed that too: when you get to a certain sublayer of posts on this forum, there's no longer a reply button below the posts.

That's what I was thinking too, a disclaimer. 

Maybe you could copy a Craigslist-like disclaimer.  We live in a world where some people need to be warned that coffee is hot.

Boy I wish this site had a Like button for that comment.

That's insane.  Hopefully other firm owners who are members will start making sure reporters they hire via CSRNation have credentials or references.  Unfortunately, that's a chance you take when you have to go outside of your normal circles.  That's why I love going to seminars and meeting other reporters -- making personal contacts.  If I hear of someone needing a reporter, if I don't know someone personally in that city, I pretty much know someone who does.

Don't think you can be in the vetting business, Kelly.

Your site is sort of User Beware.

The onus is on each party, agency and owner, to vet each other.

Agency should require certifications and experience from reporter and remember that cheap rates can be a sign of a cheap work product.

Reporter needs rates and payment terms clarified in writing.

Kelli, how about just when people sign up, just like we have to put our name, location, how we heard about the Web site, just also a spot for us to post our certificate number.  Then the agencies can at least see if we are certified.  Again, that doesn't mean there are not great reporters in states that don't require certification, but at least it's a start to help the agencies.  But the rest really is on them, not you.  I don't think you should have to make any more work for yourself.  I don't know how you do it!

That's all well and good for those states who have certs, but for those that don't . . . Granted, I have my RMR and CRR, but I don't get a number with that.

Delicia, I think that's a great idea.  I just added that question to the profile questions.  Thank you.

"What is your CSR number if you're a court reporter?"

I'd bet she was a very mediocre reporter used to taking PI cases and this was a lot more than she bargained for.  But my question is how does she think she's ever going to get paid if she doesn't turn in the transcript, and a decent one at that?

My guess is that she's not even thinking about the money.  She's still stuck at how she's going to make it through the mess.  I think she was over her head  and fell apart during the jobs.  There's got to be something more going on that she's not sitting down to do it or the audio is so bad she can't piece it together. 

I heard of a reporter that worked in court years ago that used to make designs on the steno paper instead of writing what was said.  She relied on audio to transcribe the entire thing.  After she left and they needed a transcript, they found her notes and realized what she had been doing. 

Seriously???  That's an absolute riot, Janet!!!

Wow. I'm really shocked. I'm a newer reporter just entering my second year. I had a brush with someone like this a few months ago. I took a Vol. II of a divorce case. It got a little nasty, and clearly the first one had issues because they had a court-ordered six hour maximum for which I was the timekeeper for Vol. II. It turned out to be about 280 pages with 30+ exhibits. I admit I was challenged on this, but I got it turned in, and I was proud of my work. The only thing was when I asked the agency what the last page of Vol I was, they didn't know because it hadn't been turned in. Now, mind you, I was close to the turn-in date myself, and she took hers a month before mine. She was over a month late! I could NOT turn in my job until she turned in hers. They wanted me to have the appropriate page numbers. I waited another month. I was shocked and appalled. Don't laugh at me, seasoned reporters. This is the first time I had ever come to realize that some reporters don't adhere to deadlines and/or their responsibilities. My exposure had been to A-type personality reporters who did what they were supposed to do and went over and above. I thought we were all like that.

Anyway, putting in the cert number would help, but only in those states that have state certification and/or if the reporter has their NCRA certification. The most anyone's ever asked me upon taking a job from the Cover Jobs group is for my CSR# and maybe how long I've been reporting. Someone a few weeks ago went so far as to ask me to tell them a little about myself. But usually, they don't even ask for the CSR#.

I really feel sorry for her client! Why do these people keep working in this field? I don't get that.


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