Had a request to cap the attendance at X amount per day from a national firm.  I don't want to use numbers, but let's just say it wouldn't cover a full day. I said I wouldn't take the job if the attendance was capped.  Wondering if this is happening with anyone else? 

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You mean you were paid hourly and they wanted to cap that?

I don't quite understand what you're saying.  Need more details as to what you mean.  Is this some sort of hearing and you get paid more if more people attend?   Never heard "attendance rate" before.

Kelli, it depends on the market you're in.  In Chicago, we get an "appearance" or "attendance" fee because we're not an automatic write-up state.  So the pay scale is appearance plus original plus any copies sold.


I charge a flat attendance that covers 9-6.  Before or after is an hourly overtime fee.  Some agencies will only pay a little less than half what I charge for a full day for a half day so they'll pay two half-day appearances.  I don't do that.  Bad enough to get a short job but a short attendance is ridiculous.  We're professionals and need to be compensated for our time.  Some agencies I hear don't pay attendance.  Also ridiculous.  I won't cover work for them.  With rates going up so slowly [read: never] we have to maintain our rates and not slash them in any way.  

Let me explain.  We are paid an hourly appearance/attendance rate for depos/hearings/arbitrations, whatever it is, in addition to the transcript fees.  The national firm wanted to cap the attendance at X rate, which wouldn't nearly cover a full day (of course the depo was scheduled to go a full day).  Hadn't had that happen before and was wondering if that was becoming the "norm."  

Some agencies are trying this but it's not the norm at all.  I decline this work and many other people do, too.   And all we can hope is that the people that agree to this silliness turn in bad work similar to a discussion on LinkedIn today about what to do about work turned in riddled with errors.  

I know some national firms, like Veritext, don't pay an hourly at all, at least for car insurance depos.  That's my experience.   I took a WC depo for an agency in LA and they didn't charge hourly either.

Thinking about an "occupy" movement in Chicago to take our industry back.

No, it's not the norm, at least in Kansas and Missouri

Hi, Kelli.  The term in Richmond, Va., for all the years I worked there was "attendance rate," which was what is called the "appearance fee" here in Washington, DC.  It's paid to the reporter, X for the first two hours and then X per hour thereafter, including lunch.  It's what we received if there was no write-up.  App fees are not common in many parts of the country.


Hi Mary Ann, we call it an appearance fee here in New York.  We get X amount for the morning, and then if the job goes past 1:00, we get another appearance fee.  That's it.  No hourly, no lunch, no nothing!!  I am so jealous of reporters who get paid hourly and get their page rates.  I have to admit that our appearance fees are not all that much either!  By the way, love your posts over on depoman!  You are such a hard worker and I love your posts, you're always so nice and respectful to everyone!

Hey Carol,

I wouldn't be too jealous.  Chicago gets an appearance/attendance rate with their page rate, but our page rates are lower.  Plus, we're not an automatic write-up state, so we hold our notes for things that don't write.  I don't think it matters what state you're in, this job we do is so hard and we just don't get paid enough.


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