Are there any states that allow only 22 lines per page for a transcript?

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I think Washington DC.  I have had a NY firm ask me to put the name of the witness as a header on line 1 of every page, so that would have been only 24 lines of testimony.

I only know of D.C. using 22 lines too.   In Massachusetts, it's 24 lines.

Done as low as 21 and lines as low as 40 characters (shorter for colloquy).  

Saw a reference today to court officials in Louisiana using 31-line pages. o.O

Thanks, ladies.  I was just curious b/c there's a long string going on in one of the LinkedIn groups where a reporter took a job in Illinois for a firm (I think) out of D.C.    She had done the transcript 25 lines (I think maybe the firm told her to do 25 lines), and she found out later that this reporting firm manipulated and changed her transcript to only 22 lines, charged the attorneys accordingly, but did NOT pay this reporter for the extra pages in this transcript that the line changes made.   She also said she knows of other reporters who had this same unscrupulous thing happen to them with this firm, but nobody has said anything to the firm b/c they don't want to lose the work.  Most postings are favorable to this reporter and the other victims, and some postings are critical of the reporter(s) saying, hey, that's capitalism and she should've had a signed contract w/the reporting firm outlining how many lines per page it would be.  This is atrocious to think what this profession has come to, IMHO.

Oh, yes.  Some agencies, including those here in DC, continue the practice of reformatting transcripts.  The days of working reporter/agency working closely together for mutual benefit are basically over.  It's as hard to find an agency you can trust today as it was to find an agency you couldn't trust 20 years ago.  I'm all for reporters getting paid what they are due.  If your deal with the reporting agency is to be paid your percentage (say, 70%) of what's billed to the atty, that's one thing.  But if a reporter back-and-forths with an agency and arrives at a page rate based on a 25-line page, then that is their page rate.  If the agency changes it downstream, too effin' bad, because that was not the agreement.  That's why reporters must watch out for themselves.


I do a fair amount of work for a DC firm.  Our agreement is I turn in a 25-line/50-character transcript at our negotiated rates.  They're then free to reformat to whatever format is appropriate, depending on the case venue.

The key is, that's our agreement; it's upfront and understood.


I'm just not into them messing with my certified transcript, period.  I certify that it is done the way I produce it.  It's not only about the money.

When reformatting, they must be retyping a multiple-page index page or maybe they're asking for the CAT file so they can futz with it?  When covering work for DC agencies and anyone else, I submit an ASCII with the same layout I use for everyone and the same rates.   As long as I'm paid what I've billed, which is based on 25 lines per page and the occasional luck-out of a running header on line 1, I'm fine with it.    I have no control over it anyway so . . .

I see it as tampering.  I don't write for agencies often; but if I did, I would not be OK with them making one single alteration to the transcript without getting my approval. It's not my work if they change one thing.  If I found out, I would take steps.

What steps would you take, Amanda?

I would write a letter to them expressing my feelings on the matter, that they have voided my certificate by tampering with the transcript, and I would copy all counsel and the Court.  That's the first thing that comes to my mind.  I wouldn't just stew.  A complaint that I want the money difference?  That's not the point.

If they have a certification board that governs agencies, like Texas does, I would file a complaint.

I didn't have a clue how to handle something like that.  Thanks for the suggestion.  


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