I am a firm believer in it for the following reasons: 

How do we get reimbursed for the time it takes to get to the job (I would absolutely request mileage if no PD). 

How about the time it takes to prepare your exhibits for sending and time spent driving to FedEx.  (It's not always on the way to other errands.)

How about the time it takes to set up for the job?  I've had a firm request to be there an hour early for realtime.

I had an internet streaming dry-run setup that did not go well on the provider's side. 

Also, just as a general question.  Is it generally before 8 am and after 6 pm that people charge an hourly rate for overtime?  I had a job that went to 6:09.  I don't want to seem like I'm gouging.  What are other people doing?

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The time involved in dealing with exhibits, order forms, and all other paperwork to prepare a package to be sent to the agency is sometimes off the charts.  I always underestimate.  Everything has to be just right and scanned.  I'm always surprised at how long this takes.  And there's no charging for this time.    I always get a pickup.  No way would I ever not do that.  Drive to drop off exhibits?  No way ever.

I charge a daily attendance which covers 9-6, with an additional hourly before 9 and after 6.  In the name of trying to be reasonable, I keep it at 6.     I might charge 1/4 hour extra overtime for job ending at 6:09.  It's just the principle.  Would that be annoying to an agency such that they'd never call me again?  Maybe.  So maybe I'd forget it.   Certainly if it ended at 6:15 I'd charge that 1/4 hour.

Time to get there and set up, that's why we have attendance.  

I'm with you Marge.  Appearance, per diem, same thing.

some firms say they don't charge their clients a "per diem"  Maybe I should call it an attendance fee!!

It's definitely the same thing, and some desperate agencies are stabbing working-stiff court reporters right in the back by soliciting new clients with this discount of no appearance.  I say no and I hope everybody else says no.  

Some agencies pay half-day per diem as they call it.  Give me a break!  We're going to add to the injury of low pages by cutting the appearance/attendance fee?  Oh, they say, but you could get two of them in a day.  Oh, please.   Take a chance that first job goes later than expected and you've stupidly committed to that afternoon job??!!    Someone posted on FB that she was finished at one job and her agency calls her to beg her to go nearby to relieve court reporter who had to leave for some reason.  CR agrees and calls the location to get info about parking and was told that it's walking distance from where she is.  So she walks.  Ends up being 25 blocks one way.   And the deposition went something stupid like FIFTEEN MINUTES.   

If we don't protect ourselves, nobody else will!!


Marge, you are so right. The compensation now in court reporting for the low-prestige work is so minimal that it won't be worth getting out of bed. Work-related expenses are so high that it will soon reach a point that it just won't make financial sense to do this work. People must say no to these low rates and lack of compensation for time spent doing ancillary tasks or else we'll end up making zero profit on the job.

And I didn't mean to imply you do these low-paying jobs. I was speaking for myself.

hey girls, (and I just talked to my 23-yr-old daughter about how men don't have the same issues talking about compensation)

we all know the drill.  got to talk about this stuff upfront!!

I used to have the stupid 1/2 day per diem.  it's one per diem.  I don't make plans for a short day, ever!  Try making plans for the evening, and talk about STRESS.

ps:  most of my work is RT-roughs, but still...

I recently gave up a job because they did not want to pay attendance.  It was a realtime job.  I'm standing my ground on this. I agree.  Especially when I work for an out-of-town firm I do a lot of things for free for them like taking the exhibits to FedEx because they want it sent ground.  I usually scan them for myself so I have them to work on the transcript.  I charge an hourly rate as opposed to half day/whole day when I can.  I usually don't charge extra for after 6:00.  It just depends...

oh shoot, one more question.

I did a RT streaming job for remote counsel, same office as receiving counsel's in-room realtime.  It's two RT feeds for same firm.  OMG I spent so much time on the phone setting up the RT streaming company's bogus RT steaming software.  Took up too many resources on my computer and had really static-y audio to refer to for the rough.  Thank our higher being for watching over me that day; it was nice and slow.  Today, 3 business days later, I call them to discuss this issue.  They have a newer version (already) to replace that one that (hopefully) will replace this issue.

Q:  Should I practice what I preach and bill for two RT feeds?  (Good job, going back next week.  Will spend time on new dry-run session with new version of RT streaming software) 

ps:  my shoulders are seizing up just thinking about it.

If that second realtime feed wasn't valuable, they would just have ONE.  Of course it's valuable; therefore, you should charge for it.  Now ... charge full freight?  That's up to YOU.  I often make concessions with multiple realtime hookups, especially same-side hookups.  I would never in a million years charge a transcript or rough draft fee for a same-side RT hookup, viewing only, but it is valuable and I would charge something for it.


I would charge for two RT feeds and not think a thing about it.  I do it all the time.  If I take out one of my wireless dongles and use it for an attorney, then it's going to be charged. 

I don't know if this helps answer your question, Yvonne, but when I have two attorneys getting RT, I charge each attorney.

I know, honey, but it's the same firm (ugghh)  Didn't discuss this beforehand with firm, but have to address after-the-fact.

I unfortunately don't offer interactive RT (my hats off to my colleagues who write clean enough to make that realtime feed mostly good enough to be useful) but I'd say that YOU PAY YOU GET applies even when multiple lawyers represent the same client are getting the benefit of your RT.  How about a sliding scale of regular price for first hookup and a small discount for the second atty representing the same client?   (Maybe 30% discount for the second hookup??  not sure about that.  Maybe 80%.)  

As far as after 6, I also charge a higher page rate for before 9 and after 6.  It doesn't happen often but it's on my rate sheet and I use it.

Janiece, good for you for standing your ground on the no attendance.  A 5-year relationship came to an end last year for me because of this.   It's so disappointing but, again, we have to take care of ourselves.    It's only a few agencies that are doing this.  Well-run and successful agencies wouldn't even consider it.


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