I have a request for daily copy in upcoming three-week civil trial. I have a few proceedural questions. I thought I would find another reporter to work with me on this, so we'd each take half a day. I asked a friend who has done daily copy in another county about rates and the going rate seems to be double the regular page rate, as the Board of CR's would frown on more than double. Do I require money upfront?

The case looks like it could be quite emotional. It involves an estate LLC and family members vs. other family members, and of couse there are counterclaims -- so not like a med-mal where there would be a lot of technical expert testimony. Although, that's just an assumption. I have yet to see the witness list.

So any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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I would break the day up between you and your relief to 1 1/2 hour takes. So, if you start at 9:30 and you break by 11:00, then your relief can come in and take that half of that morning. Same principle applies for the afternoon. You do this so no one gets stuck with having to do over 100 pages at night. Or you can break it up that you do an hour and an hour out and the days gets evenly divided.

Also, in civil, if it's two private parties, I would get some sort of a deposit. It's not like you're dealing with an insurance company or a state or government agency.
Thanks for the reply, Anthony. I agree we'll need a deposit. Do you charge double your regular rate for daily copy?
My rates are set by the Judicial Conference of the United States. My regular is 4.02 per page and my daily is 6.66 per page. Don't get me started with that number, couldn't they have bumped it to 6.67 or something? But I digress. 6.66 is for the first copy and 1.20 is for the second. So, what this means is you have a daily that is 7.86 per page and divided among two parties O plus 1 is 3.93 per page. In my court, the judge always gets a free copy. If that's not the procedure in your court then build another 1.20 or whatever into the page rate to cover the judge's copy. Also, try to talk them into buying a word index which could give you another 20 pages a day which you can charge for. In my court, the principal reporter retains the fee for the word index pages. This is probably way too much information, but I want to be misunderstood.
first thing, just because there are no experts, don't 'discount' the
challenge this case is going to be. Number 1, there is $$$$$ here or they
would not be requesting a daily. And when family members start pointing
fingers at each other - well, that's why the domestic violence laws were

from my expeience in family law, you will probably be dealing with very
emotional witnesses and parties, and I've even seen attorneys get into
the fray.

I believe from the very little that you've said so far, you will earn every
dollar of your "daily" copy rate!! Have fun! be sure to ask for spellings
and create a word list from the get-go.

Since your transcript fees are based on the number of pages, it will be
difficult to be exact on what to ask for up front. You could figure out an
amount and then refund any overpayment at the end or have them pay
you each day for the transcript (they probably won't want to pay each day but rather at the end of the week or the end of the trial).

I estimate I write 200-240 pages a day on a busy day, 100 in the morning
and around 100 to 140 pages in the afternoon. We do our trials in the afternoon, morning is calendar and small stuff. If the afternoon session
starts on time, and the attys are fast talkers and all their witnesses are
lined up outside, we proceed at a pretty fast clip. with a 10-15 min break
for me, it makes for a grueling afternoon. and so figure at the outside
that you may write 140 pages each session (morning/afternoon). You can calculate your page rate based on that
and give them an estimate and ask for some portion or all of your estimate up
front and see what they say. Or if the attorneys are reliable and high profile,
then I doubt you will have any problem collecting your fees.

good luck,
let us know how it goes!! I've always wanted to do a daily with another reporter
because it sounds fun and different. But I doubt I could keep up that pace of
work for any extended periods of time.

oh, yes, and ditto on what Trina said. have them make the checks out to you
and the other reporter. and you collect the checks or have the checks mailed
to your home address. it doesn't help courtroom morale to see $$$$$ floating
to the reporters.

what county are you doing this in??
Kathy, I understand what you're saying about the challenge this case will bring as far as emotional aspect of it. I am expecting high emotions in this case since it involves family members and that is what will make it challenging, I'm sure.

I am in Yavapai County. My reporter friend in Maricopa said the reporters there charge $7 per page for daily copy, and that sounds fair to me. It's hard to imagine that in California, as expensive as it is to live there, that you can only charge $4.50. I feel for you, Trina. My other thought was that if the other side wants daily copy as well, that we could split the charges down the middle. Any thoughts on that?

Kathy, is that a mini-schnauzer in the photo? It looks like my Odin. We have a schnauzer that is black and white, called party-mix. He's two and thinks he rules the roost.
no, it's a Standard Schnauzer.
and in our local Standard Schnauzer
club (sscsc.com) we have a schnauzer
named Oris! so close to Odin.

My puppy is only 8 months old in that pic.
Jesse Jane, Kissing Bandit.
she is now 10 months old and full of
do you have a home page?
I can't find you on CSRnation
Kathy, I completely neglect my home page, so I'm afraid you'll find it very boring. Did you find it by the avatar like Trina said?
aha!! it worked! I left you a message on your page,
thanks, trina!
I thought of something else while I was rereading the posts to your question.

Try not to discuss dollar amounts for the transcript in the courtroom.
nobody needs to know the specifics on what you are charging.

if it were me, I'd call the atty's office during lunch or after work to arrange for
payment with the atty office staff. Get the checks mailed to your house,
you don't want a $4,000 check floating through the courtroom with the bailiff
asking the clerk, where does this go?


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