I was passed a transcript excerpt by a source that wishes to remain anonymous. As a note, the redactions weren’t done by me. It was a short deposition, and looked like any other.
There were three parties and a videographer.
Now, maybe some of my Texas audience can fill me in on this, but apparently there’s a certificate in Texas that tells us how much the deposition officer gets. I do not know for sure if the deposition officer is verbiage for the reporting company, the reporter, or something else. I tried to connect to the court reporter on LinkedIn, but she didn’t respond. This certificate listed, on a 39-page transcript, a grand total of $1,457.31. That’s about $37.37 a page. Even if we assume the videographer took half, that’s about $18.69 a page.
I can’t figure out how the cost gets that high. I have to look at New York officials for comparison. Assuming a daily of $6.50 and two copies of $1.25, they’d be looking at $9 per page. Freelancers out here have been doing about a dollar a hookup, so even if we assume there were three hookups, we’re still talking about $12 a page — and there’s no evidence to suggest any of that is true. I’m just trying to add calculations to get to $37 a page.
If nothing else, I hope this annihilates the argument that court reporters are in danger of pricing ourselves out of the market. Such a thing is often said to break our newbies into accepting very little money for the important work that they do. It’s a disgusting corporate tactic to make the bottom line look better. Maybe the middleman model has outlived its usefulness to our profession.
Notably, Veritext also seems to be normalizing adding a kind of corporate certificate that doesn’t actually certify anything. What’s the point of this?
I’m done chasing people and companies for answers. If they care to comment on the blog, I don’t censor comments. But good luck explaining $37 a page to a field of stenographers that are often told lawyers won’t pay more than the measly $4 or $5 we pull in.