Hello, everyone.
First I apologize if this is not the right place to post this comment and question, but I didn't know where to go.
I need some advice.

I did a realtime, daily copy job on December 15 for a firm in Washington DC. Also the copy side would like a rough ASCII at the end of the day and, if possible, if I had an extra laptop, they wanted realtime. Their instructions are to always get the orders on the record, which I did. I received a call today from the firm saying the copy side did not order. I told them YES, THEY DID, and it was on the record. Plus they received a rough ASCII.
They are telling me now that because it's a New York case, the 0&1 (taking attorney) always buys the other side a copy, but it has to be areed to. I have never heard of that!!!! I've done cases that originate out of New York and I have never had a problem with the copy side.
I also told the firm that I have never heard of supplying an attorney with realtime and/or a rough without them ordering the final. After 20-plus years of reporting and in my neck of the woods, if you want the roughs and/or realtime, you MUST order the final.
So what do I do?
Does anybody supply roughs and realtime when they don't order the final (althouh in my case they did order the final.)
Is it also true in New York they don't get copy orders?
If anybody can help and shed some light on this, I'd really appreciate it.


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I would think since the witness will probably read and sign, whoever subpoenaed the witness will handle that. I really don't know who pays what, not being a reporter, nor who orders what. But I do know that in New York, I didn't hear much about transcripts not being ordered when taken. I do know that agencies began requiring the transcript to be ordered on the record, but unless there was a last minute settlement of a case, all transcripts I got were finalized and turned in to the agency. I know in Florida, for example, a reporter can spend all day taking a deposition and then it isn't ordered. I just can't imagine that happening in New York, though.
Hi, Mary. You know, Florida attys are getting a huge reputation for no-write-ups. I think what happens is that they wait until the last minute, then order it and pay the expedite, thinking that they are saving money because some of the cases they might otherwise have ordered transcripts for just settle, and even with the expedite fee, they save money.

The other thing that FL attys are getting famous for is being made COD. Let's just say there has to be a reason for that.

Hi, Lynnette. So you're in Colorado, and a Washington, D.C. firm called you for coverage for a case based out of New York. Reading and re-reading your post, it seems that at first the reporting agency here in D.C. bent the story initially and said the copy side didn't order and only after they were reminded that you did get the orders on the record that they gave you the story about all New York cases buy the other side a copy, and it has to be agreed to.

Like Marge pointed out, there are areas in that part of the country where it's true that the conducting side provides the other side their copy ... but is there any law out there that that copy is free? A copy sale is a copy sale, as is RT and a RD, valuable products and services. I have a real problem with that "must be agreed to." If this was true, the D.C. firm should have known that and they should have let YOU know the procedure, if it was to get the OTHER side to agree to pay for the copy side's "stuff." Come to think of it, when the orders when on the record, as you said they did, didn't the conducting side HEAR any of that? Did they have a chance to protest and say, uh, sorry, we are NOT paying for your copy this time, and if you think we're paying for your realtime and rough draft, you're sadly mistaken.

As for providing a participant with a realtime screen without purchasing a transcript, I've done that, BUT WITH MY OWN COMPUTERS ONLY, for the simple reason that using their own computers, they'd have a superb rough draft on their hard drive that they could easily use as a final transcript. Uh, no. I've charged for view-only realtime with no rough draft at an hourly rate.

I do not provide rough drafts without purchase of a final transcript. Realtime with an atty's own computer equals RT plus RD because they have two things, realtime and rough, no matter whether there's a somewhat cleaned-up rough draft that could be sent out at the end of the day.

But the bottom line here might be that the problems started when the reporting agency gave you two different stories. You smelled a rat and decided to investigate. If it's quacking, waddling and paddling, it is indeed the proverbial duck. What to do about it? Bill them for the services you provided. Keep pestering them. Remind them that their agreement with the attys does not constitute nor affect your billing policy on a job. A thought just occurred to me, and that is what would have happened if you'd denied realtime to the party who requested it. Seems like the D.C. firm would have been flipping out if that happened, accusing you of not accommodating their client's request.

Best of luck. Some state associations do this, but I believe there should be an area on the NCRA website that lists judgments court reporters have obtained against not only attorneys and law firms, but against court reporting firms who have been sued and lost.

Good luck, dear.

Thank you, Mary Ann. I totally agree with everything you said.
First, I would have thought the DC firm would have told me about this so-called "New York" rule, which they didn't. All they told me was to get all orders on the record, which I did. Both attorneys were from New York. If the takin attorney has the obligation to pay for the copy side, when I asked the orders, why didn't they say something?
I also provided realtime and a rough to the copy side who is saying they don't want the transcript now, although I have it on the record where they clearly said they did and what their order was.
I'm supposed to contact the firm on Monday and talk to someone, so I'll keep you posted.

I just feel like this is bad business and I'm getting the short end. With the copy side getting a rough and realtime, they are basically getting a free transcript. Although it's not the final, I wrote excellent that day.
I'll keep everyone posted. I really appreciate your comments.
Happy New Year
Lynnette, needless to say, when remembering this incident years from now in your old age ... or even weeks from now in your young age ... all I can say is, "Consider the source," and learn from the experience. For sure, don't let it happen again. And share with others, as you're doing. Knowledge is power in these matters, not only in learning that there are these special practices in the NY/NJ area, but also that there are agencies out there who will try to play fast and loose with reporters. Forewarned is forearmed (a variation on "Knowledge is Power").

That's why I am soooo thankful I found this forum for reporters, videographers, scopists, et cetera.
I love everybody's feedback and sharing with others.

I love for forewarned is forearmed. My new motto!!


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