I took a job that was a 5 hour hearing 2 day Expedite Miami-Dade Civil Court in April. The client was very wealthy. These attorneys have not paid paid for my services or transcripts and I just found out from another reporter in Boca that they stiffed her as well.

Just curious as to how other Court Reporters have handled this type of thing in the past.

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I typed this from my iphone, sorry for any typos.- Shawn
You're going to have to sue them. In hindsight, which doesn't help, I know, is get a very large deposit up front
and then refund any overage after delivering the transcript. If Florida's State Bar is like California's, it's pointless to make a complaint - they do nothing. If you get a judgment, that is public record, and you can spread it on every Internet site you can find to let others know. Good luck. I hope you do get your $$.
I agree with Karen - get a judgment and POST IT EVERYWHERE! I don't know how FLA statutes are but in my state (OK) it is set out basically that whoever hires the CR is held responsible for paying the CR. This was enacted several years ago to prevent the atty from just saying that he only represented the client and was not responsible for their clients' bills. Hopefully, you can find an atty to represent you if it's over the small claim amount.
Jeanese is spot-on. Filing a complaint with the Bar is yet another tactic that has worked for me in the past. Just cc them to the letter you are sending and fax it to their offices. No need to spend a penny on postage. They will get the message that you are serious. Don't let them get away with not paying you!!!!!!!!
Too many of us smaller independent agencies/reporters get so overwhelmed with all of our tasks (not ONLY reporting, transcribing, scoping, but staying up-to-date with our software, writers, collection, banking and payroll, deadlines, etc., etc.) that we neglect and let sit idle these deadbeats. The old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil," couldn't be more accurate in this situation. Perhaps the other reporter didn't bother following up after a while ~ and why would they care about not paying her if she lets the ball drop????
It's easy for us to do - we're SOOOOOOOOOOO busy keeping up with things. But don't let them slide. DON'T! I waited over four years to collect on a bill owed to me by disgraceful attys from NYC. I called and called to no avail. I sued in Small Claims and won. They STILL didn't pay. In order to collect I was told I had to know where they did their banking. How would I know that? They never paid me so I had no idea where they banked. The woman suggested I contact all the banks near their offices. In NYC???? Okay. That didn't work. She also suggested I call their landlord. BINGO!!!! I did a search online, found out who managed the building (it's public record!) and I contacted the building manager directly. Can you believe this saint was willing to help me??? He said they owed him back rent and HE called them about my bill. They were MORTIFIED and actually CALLED ME to arrange payment less than ten minutes after I spoke to the BM. FOUR YEARS LATER. (Oh, and they had the absolute nerve to want to pay the original bill w/o the additional $50 I charged them for small claims fees - how disgusting is THAT???)
SO STAY THE COURSE AND DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY W/O PAYING FOR OUR SERVICES. We are not volunteers. We are professionals who provide services that need to be paid for.
As my mother always says, "A client that doesn't pay is not worth having." And we all can relate to having those. Yes, it's exciting to get a phone call from a new client, but unfortunately there are those law firms, like this one, that keep changing reporters and stiffing them as they go along. There are soooooooooooo many of us out here that they feel they can get away with it...ONLY if we let them! DON'T LET THEM!
Oh, and I have also been on The People's Court suing yet another deadbeat atty! I really try not to let them slide. Ever!
Oh, and just one last thought - you can mention in your letter that the transcript signature is not certified unless paid for in full. Why not put that little statement in there? It may make them rethink not paying you, ya never know.
Yep, I agree with Premier. I also had a deadbeat attorney that was ignoring my bill. I did the same thing as Premier. I called their landlord. Lucky for me, I knew them them because I had also rented space from them in the past. I was paid the next day.

And if that doesn't work, send them a final demand for payment within X days -- certified, return receipt -- and include a copy of the filled out paperwork for filing a small claims action. Out of the DOZENS of times I've filed a small claims action, only two have actually shown up to court. A few have waited for the court to issue their ruling without showing up and then paid. All the others have paid before the hearing date. I've never lost a small claims suit.

Quick story. I was the plaintiff in a lawsuit once. Big high-powered attorneys representing the defendants. They took my depo, video'd of course. He asks me, Have you ever been a plaintiff in a lawsuit before? No. He pulls out the rap sheet that went on for pages. He says, Well, what about this and this and this and this and this... Ohhhhhh, those were all attorneys that I was suing in small claims court for non-payment. We then very quickly moved on to another subject.
that's a great story, Judy!
Oh, yes, that's another tactic I've used, too. I just recently had an atty who was ignoring my calls, ignoring my calls. His v/m was full (can you believe THAT???) so I would email him - nothing.
Finally I decided to do a little investigation. Turns out his addy is a PO at the village hall. I called the village. Ever hear of this guy??? Nope, he doesn't rent here anymore. But, btw, here's his home number listing and addy. But please, don't tell anyone I gave it to you...your secret's safe with me, don't you worry!
Called his home phone, where, of course, his message machine accepted messages. I left him a nice little message explaining that he owed the $$, that I have tried repeatedly to contact him and that his v/m being full was getting very old. I gave him a deadline and got the check within days.
Yup, that's a winner, too!
Best of luck to you!!!! And DON'T give up. Keep at 'em. Eventually you'll get somewhere, believe me.
Wow, this is informative. If you're going to leave him messages on his home phone, I think I would be more inclined to show up at his house and knock on the door.
Really? Go for it. I am too busy to make house calls. It got the check in the office, which is all I was concerned with.
Threaten to report them to the FL bar. They don't want a complaint. Second, it is case law in Florida, at least in the Second District, that the attorney MUST pay you if ordered. Contact Tommie Berryhill in Tampa. She has the case citation. You should get summary judgment. Finally, sue them and hire a collection agency to harass them. Scott Sinclair


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