It seems the industry standard for MANY years has been $1.00/pg to the reporter for realtime hookup and something less than roughs.  Although in the last 5 to 6 years the payment to reporters for roughs has come up to $1/pg as well, but I haven't seen an increase in the realtime hookup fee paid to reporters. 


So my question is do you think it's right to charge more for realtime hookup with a cleaned up rough afterwards than just a rough?


Also, it seems I get more and more requests to provide a laptop for the attorney to view so they don't have to either bring their own or use their own and can use their laptop for something else.  Does anyone charge an extra free for providing a laptop?  I figure I have to buy one that I wouldn't normally, but just curious if anyone does.




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Hi Sam

I usually see Realtime for 1.25 and then 1.00 for a Rough.  And then if you are providing both realtime AND a cleaned up version of the realtime feed at the end of the day, or evening, then I've seen that go for 1.75.  Most firms do pay for BOTH since they are two separate services...but not all of them, at least locally where I am, which is one of the reasons I choose not to work for them.


But as far as charging like a one-day rental fee for the loaners, no.  That ship has sailed, as they say.  You can get a decent netbook for 250.00 and you'll pay for it in no time if you do realtime all the time.  I don't know of anyone who charges for it.


Hope this helps.

It does help.  However, here I've been told that the agencies charge the client $1.75 for realtime and they are giving the reporter $1/pg of that charge.  Don't know if that's true.  Since I work for multiple agencies I don't know what anyone charges, but the norm has been 41/pg just for roughs and realtime both, and I think it's a lot more to worry about doing realtime than roughs, but my thought was the realtime should be at least .25 cents more per page.   There's only one of the firms I work with that pays me for both, and I'm talking maybe 20 firms.  Thanks.

I always bring two netbooks to my jobs and throw them down on the table for both sides.  No, I don't charge for this service.  I also get 1.25 for RT and 1.00 for rough.  That is the standard in my area, although, U.S. Legal pays 1.50 for RT I think. 


I think you are seeing more and more reporters just providing the computers.  That actually makes sense because I know my computers work and I can get them up and running right away.   If I have to mess with someone else's computer, I don't know what their issues are going to be.  I don't want to mess with it.  Then I just send them a rough when I get home. 


I do think reporters should get more for the rough when providing realtime because the attorney is paying for the RT and then you have to go home and clean up the rough, which takes extra time, and we should be compensated for that.  I guess back East they charge for both but not here in California, or very few firms charge for both here.

I'd say a good percentage of the agencies I work for charge and pay the reporter for both the rough and realtime, but like Donna, these are out-of-state agencies for me.  Our local agencies will not pay the reporter for both.  Local Chicago agencies pay one price for the realtime and say that it includes a rough for that price.  Some are the same as just a rough; some are just slightly higher than the rough, which makes the value of the realtime basically 15 to 25 cents a page.  I'd say 85% of the agencies I work for, though, pay separate line items if an attorney wants a cleaned-up rough after receiving realtime, making it much more attractive for me to work for out-of-state agencies.


I have 6 extra laptops for the attorneys.    I don't take them all on all jobs.  I usually have two at all times unless I think more are needed.  I do not charge a fee for "rental" or anything like that.  One hookup on one job would pay for one computer.


Yeah, I definitely wish it would change around here (Northern California) to pay for both.  Only makes sense.  There is a big difference between RT and a rough.  An example, I went on a RT job yesterday that I had not been on before.  I got a prior transcript but what was being talked about was not what was coming up on my job.  There were tons of company names I had never heard of coming up. I was only given one name ahead of time.


I was on cleaning up the transcript on the breaks and putting in all the names I could get off of the exhibits.  I don't care what any reporter says; you are not going to have every name in the entire universe in your dictionary and you have to clean that stuff up.  The rough was way cleaner than the RT feed.

I really think California needs to get into the act of one charge for RT and one charge for rough drafts.  Especially all the tech jobs that are here, you work your butt off for those.  I do know of one reporter that she has a rates sheet she sends to firms and hers are two separate charges.  Maybe it's starting to become the norm s.l.o.w.l.y.


I think it's the other way around.  I work for firms all over the nation, and there's ONLY one firm I've ever worked for that allows me to charge them for both rough and realtime hookup to the same attorney.   I think there should be some additional charge, even if it's not a full $1.00/pg, for example, for the cleaned up rough.  Let's say I finish a job at 5:00 p.m.  I either stay at the law firm where the depo is going on, go to the library, or go home and clean up my rough and email it out that night.  Depending on how much time I had to edit during the job, the speed of the job, the length of the job, the technical nature of the job, a 250 - 300 pg transcript is going to take me anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hrs to clean up, and that's just double checking for untrans, my notes to myself, conflicts, spell check, job dictionary entries - no line by line editing like I know some non-realtime reporters do and stay up half the night to deliver it to them the next morning or even the next afternoon!

Of COURSE realtime is worth more than a rough draft.  A rough draft reporter is not a realtime reporter.  Realtime is RIGHT NOW!  And there are no do-overs in realtime.  You deliver the realtime service instantly and the rough draft product separately, later.  There are two things here:  (1) realtime feed and (2) rough draft.  My clients get get either one, or BOTH.  When they get either one ... a realtime feed on MY computer, or a rough draft, they are charged one fee.  But when they get both, they are getting TWO THINGS, and my fee reflects that.  It's not only business sense, it's common sense ... at least for those who respect realtime for the specialty that it is.



It is interesting to hear how you realtimers do it.  I am so in awe of you.  It takes real guts and a lot of talent to put yourself out there.    I am an okay writer but there are always several times in a depo where I mess up and it comes out wrong, and that's on a good day.  After you get tired and/or it's  a fast job it can get real ugly.   It just seems too stressful for me.   So all kudos for you. 


How do you handle it when you know you screwed up and everyone can see it?    I know some of you are perfect writers you claim., or 99.9%    I'm speaking to the mortal court reporters out there who aren't perfect.

I don't understand the purpose of this?  What am I missing?


"Take a scan of the caption w/ my scanner or BlackBerry." 


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