I asked for the latest reporter rate sheet from my agency, and I was shocked that I never caught this earlier. They pay the same amount for realtime/LiveNote and for a rough draft. I immediately said, "No, no, no, no! The realtime rate must be higher than the rough draft rate. It's a specialized skill. Anyone can go home and clean up a rough draft and e-mail it. A realtimer does it all right on the spot."

I am close to the powers that be and can speak my mind and hopefully be influential. I am making a case for raising the realtime rate, and my question to you all is regardless of what the actual rates are, what is the difference between the two that you or the agency you work for charges?

And if any Southern Californians are comfortable telling me the actual rates, either here or to me in private (mytwins@cox.net), I'd really appreciate it. I'd like to have something to back up what I'm saying. I have numbers in mind and would like to know if I'm in the industry ballpark.

While I'm at it, isn't the norm for expedite rates 10 percent per day? I could also use some stats on your expedite rates as well.

Thanks!

Lisa

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Lisa,

Good for you for taking notice and sticking your neck out. You're correct that interactive RT demands a much higher skill level than rough draft. I unfortunately do NOT have the skill level necessary to provide RT to anyone but me. The going rate to lawyers for rough draft is $1.50 and I charge 70% of that or $1.05. The going rate for RT is $2 and the CR gets 70% of that or whatever percentage they've agreed to. This $2 rate only applies if the atty is borrowing the laptop of the CR, which happens often. But if the atty has their own laptop, then they're getting a rough draft, too, and so the charge to the lawyer is MINIMUM $3/page ($1.50 for each service) and really should be $3.50 ($2 for the privilege of following along with the RT feed and $1.50 for having a rough draft at the end of the day to take home).

If the agency doesn't have the balls to do the very right thing, which is charge for the rough AND the RT, then for gawd's sake they should be charging a BARE MINIMUM of $2.50/page for interactive RT and paying the CR 70 or 80% of that. But like I said above, it really should be a minimum of $3/page that the atty pays for RT.

As far as expedited, here's what I use:
1-day (next day) (daily), bill 100% more
2-day expedited, bill 90% more
3-day expedited, bill 80% more
4-day expedited, bill 65% more
5-day regular expedited, bill 50% more
6-day delivery, bill 40% more
7-day delivery, bill 30% more
8-day delivery, bill 20% more
9-day delivery, bill 10% more
10-day regular delivery, no premium, charge the basic 2-week delivery rate

Marge
Kelli,

I sure hope you make more for providing RT/rough draft than I make just providing rough draft the next day!

You need to find out what the agencies are charging for the service you provide. Hopefully they're billing more for RT than they bill for rough draft only and hopefully you are getting the lion's share of that (minimum 70% and it really should be 80%) because the agency has zero to do but they certainly deserve to make some money because it's their client but really 20% is all an agency should make on RT and rough.
Personally, I think the practice needs to change to where we provide the laptop (What's a cheap viewing-only laptop nowadays, $600? Bridge is free, plus it refreshes.). For that they pay for viewing only. If they want a rough, they pay for it.

If they complain about us using our own laptops, tell them we've all had too many problems hooking up to attys' computers because of the lockdown their IT departments load onto their 'puters, us not knowing what type of connection equipment we need to purchase and haul around at all times for their equipment, and this is our solution to guarantee a connection every time, all the time. Plus, you can stop supporting the LiveNote folks by using the free Bridge software.

Whatcha think?
I think that is an awesome idea! I carry an extra anyway when I go on a RT job so I'm ready! I'm going to talk to my agency about that too. I'm going to be a PITA with them this week. LOL!
Lisa,

There's a thread on the Court Reporter Assistance site -- http://groups.msn.com/Courtreporterassistance -- that deals with this subject. Anita Paul Johnston has suggested a half-day/full-day per diem for the writing/viewing part of realtiming a job, and then the appropriate per page charge for a rough. I think if you can print off that page where she suggests it, it'll hold a lot of weight, considering her realtime expertise.

Maybe M.A. will give her suggestions on an appropriate charge for writing/viewing only, with no rough.

Judy

edited to add: If you figure an "average" day is 10 to 5 with a one-hour lunch (yeah, right), break a.m./p.m. up into three-hour increments. Then... after 5:00 they get charged a NIGHT realtime per diem.

Judy
Ditto, Judy! I'm heading in this very direction. LiveNote is becoming a huge pain lately. I thought software was supposed to be designed to make things easier (??) I'm on Eclipse -- going to load Bridge and get a move on it.
MA sent me a couple links for the compact PCs once I'm ready to make the move:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/19/hps-umpc-2133-revealed/

http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/20/hps-umpc-2133-to-cost-630-when-s...

http://www.umpcportal.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1257

Enjoy!
Judy, hi. My name is Diane Hickman from CA. This is the first I've heard of "Bridge." What is Bridge?
Hi, Diane. I'm sure Judy will be "out here" momentarily.

Bridge is a realtime software (offered through Eclipse), similar to LiveNote, etc., only it's FREE! You can download it from the Eclipse website.

Since April, I've now used Bridge a few times, setting up an extra laptop and offering the viewing service. There are a couple of clients who actually request it ahead of time when booking their depos now. Seems to be a trend that attorneys are catching onto -- they'd rather not lug around their laptops and/or deal with computer issues, but they do like having the service offered at the depo.

I had a depo last week where the client wanted the reporter to bring a laptop with LiveNote on it for their attorney. I did that, but I borrowed a laptop from the agency that already had LiveNote loaded on it. Or . . . I could fork out the money to purchase LiveNote myself and load it, but at the cost of the software -- not cheap.

I also brought my extra laptop with Bridge loaded on it, set it up at the end of the conference table. When asked, "Who's computer is this?" I explained that I was offering a realtime feed to one attorney, so if anyone else wanted to view the software, it was available. The opposing counsel said they'd like it as well, so they viewed the feed on my extra laptop, through Bridge, and they also ordered a rough draft at the end of the day. I billed it as a realtime hook-up depo with rough draft and copy order. Made quite a few extra bucks that day just from loading that free software onto an older extra laptop that was not being used. No investment on my part other than the 8 minutes to download the software.

You can also order a thumb drive to carry around that has Bridge loaded on it, which also contains all the simple (and quick) tutorials for those who have never used it. I think that's a $10 investment.

Hope this helps!
Happy realtiming!
Hi, Kelli. Someone out here knows the answer to your question about online streaming with Bridge. I seem to recall we covered this at the ESL convention in May, but I'm having no recall as to WHAT was said on this topic. (Personally, I just "graduated" to extra laptops. One thing at a time! - ha ha)

If memory serves, I think TeleView is the option to get internet stream/viewers.

http://eclipsecat.com/?q=node/2051

I purchased LiveNote years ago, but it's the "token-required" version. If needed, I could purchase the needed tokens, provide the service and then bill back the client. I may end up biting the LiveNote bullet anyway and purchasing the upgrade. It used to be if you were a CLR (Certified LiveNote Reporter) you'd get a discount on the software. Haven't looked into that, though, for some time. Might be worth mentioning . . . that is, IF they call you back!
Go to www.1360studios.com and they are giving reporters free realtime viewing software for you to load on your computers and they will send you pamphlets and ask that when the attorney uses your laptop for realtime view, you just give them a pamphlet so that if they like the software, then they can purchase it for themselves. 1360 Studios only ask that you not load the software on the attorney's laptop.

I love the software and it has all the features of Livenote for the attorney to mark a section and make notes and all that, but its so easy to hookup. No problems.
Kelli - you can do this easily. It's called TeleView, also made by Eclipse. It's not as pretty as Bridge, but if they're in NY and you're in CA, all that you need is an internet connection and the TeleView software on YOUR end, I believe. The attorney then just logs onto an IP address you give him, and the text is in front of him. I don't think he can keep the text, so you'd have to e-mail it when you're done, but that's all there is to it. You do have to purchase the number you want, but start with one or two hookups (around $125 I think) and go from there.
Thank you, Audrey, for your Bridge info. Does it work with all other softwares besides Eclipse (I use CaseCat8)? I have an old laptop. What is the website for Bridge?

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