How Much Does a Court Reporter Cos?

Legal videoconferencing

Do you need more information about obtaining a court reporter for hire? When a team of lawyers and/or legal assistants is putting together a case for a lawsuit or any other legal proceeding, the entire foundation of the case is based on statements given by the plaintiff, the defendant, and any witnesses that have knowledge of the situation.

Obtaining a precise record of the situation from every party involved is critical for the accuracy and legality of the case. This record of the facts of the case from each involved party is called the “deposition.” The deposition must be recorded under specific and precise circumstances to maintain the integrity of the trial.

This is where a court reporter for hire comes in. A court reporter for hire understands the legal implications of recording depositions and follows very specific guidelines to produce legal statements from all involved parties in the case. Some court reporting services are provided by videoconferencing, and some are typed in short hand as the witness recalls the facts of the case. After the depositions are recorded, they are put into a formal document that it signed by the person making the statement, a witness, and a public notary (to guarantee their legitimacy) and sent to the lawyers on both sides of the case to form an argument around.

If you are interested in obtaining a court reporter for hire, your biggest concern is probably the cost involved for this service. Here is what you need to know about the bill court reporters charge for their services.

There are several different fees included in the overall cost of court reporting service:

  • Appearance fee. The appearance fee is an hourly rate for the time the court reporter spends recording the statements given by the witnesses involved in the case. Sometimes, neither party in the case will need these depositions to be formally written out in an official deposition after they are initially recorded. In such cases, the appearance fee may include a “non-write” surcharge, to ensure the court reporter is fairly compensated for their time.
  • Page fees. Generally, the greatest cost involved in using court reporting services is the cost of the formal deposition. After the court reporter records the statements, if the lawyers need a written transcription to be used in court (which is generally the main purpose of recording depositions to begin with), the court reporter puts together a formal document, and charges for each page of deposition they give.

    The initial page fee for the formal dispositions is generally higher than the cost for any copies made after the first one is produced. It could be higher or lower depending on the area you are in, but generally the original deposition might cost about $3.00 per page of testimony that is transcribed.

    After that, each copy that is requested involves another, lower page fee. This means that the requesting attorney will pay a slightly higher expense than the opposing council. In some states, the fee for the copy depositions must be no greater than 66% of the original. In example, if the testimony resulted in 100 pages of deposition, the original document might cost $300, while the copy costs $200.
  • Additional fees. The court reporter’s total bill will likely involved a few additional fees:
    • If you need the official depositions to be expedited in a short time frame, this often involves an additional surcharge of approximately 40% to 100% more per page.
    • Typically, any evidence that is presented during depositions is retained by the court reporters, so that copies can be made and included in each packet of depositions. This usually costs a nominal fee of less than .50 per copy for each packet of depositions.
    • Some court reporters offer additional services that assist the attorney in managing the depositions. This include summaries, indexes of keywords in the depositions, and digital copies of the transcripts. Before selecting a court reporting agency to work with, it’s a good idea to see if any of these additional services are available, and what they cost.

Are you familiar with the process of hiring a court reporter? Do you have any information to share about the costs involved? Please share in the comment section below.

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