It was suggested to me on another forum that when referring to a certain bad element within the reporting industry that referring to them as 1-800 firms was a misnomer since there are some very good large firms out there. How about we refer to the bad element among us as a new acronym, Large Interstate Affiliation of Reporters, or LIAR.
Even somebody my size has a toll-free number. I even offer nationwide scheduling to my existing client base. I am not a LIAR.
Local firms are able to save on economies of scale. Several people pitching in and sharing the costs of expenses--nothing wrong with that. It's good for the owners of the firm, good for independent reporters who would otherwise not be able to pay for expensive overhead alone, and good for the consumer when it translates into lower costs.
But when LIAR steps in and is willing to spend $500 a day on pay-per-click advertising in every venue across the nation only to dole the work out to local reporters, it's an unneeded layer of expense.
When LIAR offers gifts that ultimately doubles the costs of litigation, it's an unneeded layer of expense, unfair, and dishonest.
When LIAR offers a low rate for the scheduling attorney and absorbs the cost of local labor in only the copy attorneys' bills, it's unfair, and dishonest.
When LIAR is only able to obtain the least-in-demand reporters, the consumer is paying more for a less-skilled reporter.
LIAR adds nothing to the equation, and I don't like a LIAR.
I got a couple private emails regarding other suggestions for an appropriate acronym, so I thought I would open it up for public participation--just for fun. Give it a shot!
Thanks, Bill. Some of the private responses that others sent were HILARIOUS, but probably too foul for public display! Of course, foul language doesn't offend me in the slightest, but what's being done to our industry DOES offend me.
Another underhanded tactic utilized by LIAR is adding pages to the transcript delivered by the court reporter, whether by reformatting transcripts or by charging full page rates for the inclusion of a word index. LIARS who engage in these practices can also be referred to as CHEATS
(This inspired by another private response. You know who you are)
Is this a common practice in DC? I have had dealings with one agency out of DC that I KNOW changes the lines per page. I'm in Chicago where the lines per page is 24. They required 25 and changed it back to 22. I won't do work for that agency anymore. And there's another agency in DC that I suspect but have no confirmation that they're doing the same thing, changing transcripts from 25 to 22. So I'm wondering if this happens in that part of the country frequently.
Hi, Rachel. The "DC standard page" is 22 lines. (Heads up: In Baltimore, you'll find a lot of transcripts put out on 21 printed lines.) I work for so few DC firms, and haven't for so many years, I'm not quite sure what the practice is lately. But at one time, I was familiar with a firm that produced transcripts in both 22 and 25-line format. The page rates were considerably lower than other firms, and it was the same whether the transcript was 22 or 25 lines. When reporters asked about that, the answer was a peppy, gee, just consider it a bonus when it's a 22-line job.
Perfect, Lisa ~ I've often said 1-800 firms, but have cringed when saying it and have wanted to add clarification because I have a few smaller, honest, cr-owned and run firms that I take work for that have an 1-800 number (and a couple larger ones too) and they are not LIARs :)