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Does anyone have any tips to get more than one defense lawyer to order copies in medical malpractice cases? A fellow court reporter is at a depo today. There are three defendants, three defense attorneys, and only one copy (via PDF) is being ordered, because the same insurance company is handling the defense for all of them. We all know there will be an emailed transcript to the other two attorneys. Does anyone have any tips other than educating them that they can't share copies, which they already know?
Similar situation happened to me a few years ago and the agency I was working for charged a higher page rate.
Rosalie, do you remember what percentage higher than usual, like 50% or more?
I'm thinking it was almost two dollars more a page.
Honestly, I have only been reporting for five years, and I have never counted on copy orders - even if they are technically ordered. They seem few and far between. (Yeesh, I feel I'm lucky if I get the O&1 paid within less than 90 days.) BUT I've also chatted with honest attorneys who tell me they simply don't have the authorization to order a copy like they may have in the past.
The purse strings have tightened for a lot of people across the board over the last several years. In the example you've given, I can't imagine counsel would be authorized to order additional copies if it's the same insurance company. I've been in conversations during breaks where they've indicated they have a tough time getting paid on their own billings that would have been easily approved in the past. Sure, some folks are sketch, but I believe there are those who couldn't give us a copy order if they wanted to. They know it would never be approved and/or paid. I'm under the impression the insurance companies are scrutinizing things more than they did 10 to 15 years ago.
If an agency does not have a means to address nonpayment of services rendered to reporters, I would not work for that agency.
When I left CA in 2006, Southern CA attorneys had started a "trend" of simply ordering an 0+1 -- and stipulating on the record to release the original to the deposing attorney. I had six attorneys in one depo that lasted nine hours -- fast, technical, and an 0+1. I understand the trend started its journey towards northern CA (where I lived).
Something has to be done about this by the firm owners. They (usually) know their clients, and their clients are starting to "go this way," then the firm needs to charge differently.
I worked for the Govt. for almost seven years since then, but I am now back in freelancing in GA. I've heard pay for work in CA has become worse; I am hoping GA is better.
I apologize for not having any answers, but I wanted to share my experience with multiple attorneys simply ordering an 0+1 when you work all day (and sometimes all night) to provide them with expert service.
I think the states' Reporters Boards need to start working on this issue and get working on some laws. That is what our dues go towards.
Dana, that trend was well entrenched in the lawyers' vocabulary when I started this profession (in So Cal) in 1981.
And, actually, our dues go to protecting consumers, and that's about it.
First, I'd stop emailing transcripts until all invoices on a depo have been paid in full.
Then I'd probably print up the transcripts on non-copyable paper and bring them to a place that can glue-strip bind them.
I only started to run into the problem in 2005 -- and only from So Cal firms. Not a good situation.
Great idea, Judy.
I love it when lawfirms call and say our transcript fell apart. Oh, I'm sure you didn't try to take it apart and tore it up in the process then couldn't get it back together!!!