Welcome to CSR Nation
So I'm interested in other rptrs' experience with this. Historically, first we had the ability to produce rough drafts before there was realtime. Let's say it was at $X/page. Then when realtime first came out, my experience was that was $Y/page (sometimes the same as X, sometimes a little higher), and that automatically included a follow-up rough draft.
Now I see that a lot of agencies are separating the prices. Some charge $Z/page, which is higher than the RT price alone, but less than the RT + rough price. Others are just adding the RT and rough prices together, which is in effect doubling your page rate.
But when the RT and rough are now separate charges, it seems to me you must inform the atty of that and allow him to choose whether he wants to order the rough in addition to the RT. I actually had a client the other day who got RT via his own iPad turn down the rough! Which is not exactly an incentive for me to work my butt off during the depo and recesses cleaning stuff up and making globals for the anticipated rough order. It also clued me in to the fact that I need to put some passwords in my CaseViewNet to not allow the client to save the transcript on his device, if all he'll pay for is the viewing of the RT. On the other hand, if he's not paying for a follow-on rough, does he have the right to take home my raw, untouched rough on his device? Because most of the time I provide RT via my own iPads, and the clients don't get to take home my untouched rough.
What are you experiences and opinions about this?
I've never known roughs to be automatically included in the provision of real time. It has always been separate, but perhaps at a reduced combo rate rather than separate real time in addition to a rough. I've always provided RT on my own iPads, so I have not experienced the attorney(s) walking away with my rough. I've never even thought of that, but good to know.
Sorry, Quyen - just saw your post on the Texas realtime discussion and didn't know you had come over here too.
There's so many ways to provide realtime and charge for it! I wish it would get standardized. When I work for different agencies I have to inquire very carefully into their policies and see if I need to negotiate something, because sometimes I find we're talking apples and oranges.
P.S. I've been reporting for 40 years - before we had computers! - so I have a historical view on this and can see how things have evolved. Just want to make sure they evolve in the right direction!
Well, as to the rough, my perspective is if they want a rough, that means they are
automatically agreeing to purchase the finished transcript. Because like you, I don't want my
unfinished transcript floating around out there. And more than once an atty has ordered a rough draft from me (in court) and I explicitly told him he could not use the rough in court proceedings and he did it anyway!
So I just don't do roughs. There is a section in the Government Code that says reporters are not required to produce a rough draft.
Words mean things, and the wording used to sell realtime has been wrong from the beginning. If realtime ALWAYS included a rough draft, then our atty clients wouldn't get the mistaken idea that they are being double charged. They are NOT. But agencies are using the wording "rough draft" and then "realtime" and charging for both; therefore, atty clients see "double billing."
There IS no incentive for the reporter to work hard to become realtime proficient if they are working for pennies a page when the rt/rd "combo" (AND I FN HATE THAT PHRASE!!!) is going to be less.
Agencies need to know WHAT they are selling and HOW to sell it.
So what do you think is fair? If X is RT, should RT plus RD be X plus 50%? Two times X?
in my opinion, it depends if attys are only "viewing " the realtime or are they taking home the realtime on their computer (i.e., LiveNote) -- another issue!!
If the atty is able to take the rough on their computer plus get the realtime,
i am inclined to charge for two copies. If the attys are only viewing realtime
as it happens and I am sending them a rough, I would only charge for one
copy and a fee for realtime
I agree with you, Quyen. I guess I'm in the "bundling" mode also.
they are two entirely separate things!!
Now all we have to do is get the agencies to agree! They're all over the map on this. That's why you have to nail it down with them up front before you accept a job.