Carolyn Bodley - Legal Verbatim Transcriptionist of Audio, Video & Digital Files

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blog entries are strictly the opinion of Carolyn Bodley and may not reflect the opinion of others

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BLOG - Legal Transcripts from Court Reporters

FeeSchedule.jpgRecently I ran across a Court Reporter's Blog concerning Fair Pricing of Legal Transcripts. The gist of the blog was how one attorney purchases the transcript and then gives opposing counsel a "freebie" copy of the transcript.

 Excerpted from her blog:

"The fact is that standard pricing practices for transcripts have always taken into consideration that a legal transcript is something that is usually required by both sides of a lawsuit in order for each side to do their job properly. ... If attorneys began passing around free copies of transcripts, court reporters would only be partially paid for the work they perform. ... We would need to change our pricing in order to be fully compensated. ... This would almost double the cost of a transcript for the ordering party."

From taking what she is saying at face value, I can somewhat see her complaint. However, she goes onto talk about multiple parties:

"Again, the fact that there are sometimes multiple parties has also been figured into the pricing structure we use. Yes, sometimes we are able to sell extra copies of a transcript in the case of multiple parties. But there are also many times when only the original is ordered, and no one is ordering the copy. In those cases, we are making considerably less than we should on a transcript and the work that went into producing it. So the extra orders we receive occasionally from multiple parties help make up for those times when only one side is ordering."

 So, all right -- one copy they are losing money. Two copies per the first excerpt, would pay for the full transcript and they would be fully compensated. But, what I am confused about is the second except and multiple copies. If they are fully compensated with two copies, than three, four, five or more, are pure profit.

 I have never seen a depo taken where there was not a court reporter. However, more and more court rooms have gone strictly digital, bypassing the court reporter and transcripts are ordered from a transcriptionist who listens to the court room audio and types.

 Hmmm, is this due to money/cost saving measures? I don't know. Myself, I receive audio discovery (police interviews, investigative reports, etc.) from lawyers or their clients who are trying to save a few dollars and find their own transcriptionist than have someone in their lawyer's office do it. I furnish a PDF file to the client -- they've paid for it. If they want to make 1,001 copies, they've paid me for it. The file/transcript belongs to them.
As a legal transcriptionist, I personally don't have a problem with court reporters. I don't believe the feeling is mutual. There are plenty of transcripts out there needing transcribed -- I believe the arena is big enough for all of us.

[end of blog]

3:45 pm mdt 

Friday, July 5, 2013

BLOG - You got something free, and now you are going to complain ??


I just got home from a week-long, 2,600 mile motorcycle trip. I am the designated photographer for our annual bike rides. I took 3,000 photos -- roughly a little over one photo for every mile. Before digital cameras, I can't even imagine what I would have spent on film and developing on just this trip.

I have several photo-editing software packages. Each have features I like, and each have things I don't like. Now if I could just find one package that combined all my likes, then I could do away with the need for numerous software.

Over the weekend I was Internet surfing for the one perfect photo-editing software that would meet my needs. There are a ton of them out there. Many are no different than all the ones I already own.

I think I did find a perfect solution and meets all my likes. The price tag is pretty pricy, but when you consider what I've spent on all the packages I already own, it is pretty much a wash.

The thing that I really like about this "hope-to-be" everything I need and am looking for software, is the fact that they allow you to download a "free" version first to see and try before you actually buy. In the past, had I been allowed to "try before you buy," I'm sure I wouldn't have purchased, at least a few, of the software editing packages I now own.

I was flabbergasted to read a testimonial on their FAQ page. This individual downloaded the free trial software, and actually put together what appeared to be a pretty elaborate slide show. Their complaint is that there is a watermark throughout the slide show, making the slide show completely unusable. I mean, is this person really real? Do they really think and believe that if you have a free trial version on one hand, and a high-dollar purchase version on the other hand, that the free/trial version is going to either be the full version, or not have some copyright or other watermark across the face of the photos? Why on earth would you expect to get the benefits of the whole "wham bang" package for free? -- and why would you spend hours putting together a complete slide show without testing it after five, 10 or 15 photos to see what it looks like?--and if you had tested the slide show as you were creating it, you would know that the free trial version was simply intended to show you the benefits of the full and paid software package.

Several analogies come to my mind: "You get what you pay for" and don't expect "something for nothing."

Until you have actually purchased something with green cash or plastic, you have absolutely no right to complain about something you didn't pay a dime for!
[end of blog]

7:45 am mdt 

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With a typing speed of 120 wpm, Carolyn Bodley began offering independent contractor/secretarial and transcription services to the Denver metro legal community in 1992.

I am not a court reporter or medical transcriptionist and I don't videotape depositions -- I'm strictly a legal transcriptionist which means putting spoken words on paper. All my transcripts contain a certification stating that to the best of my knowledge, belief and ability, the audio/video I received has not been altered in any way, and the transcript is true, accurate and complete. I have never been advised that a court rejected one of my audio or video transcripts. If my transcript is rejected by the court, you will be reimbursed in full for my services. Because I certify that the transcript is true and complete, the entire audio/video must be transcribed--I am unable to transcribe "just a portion" that you need. 

I guarantee that your transcripts will be typed confidentially, accurately and with attention to detail at a fair price.

  • Discovery is often turned over in a format other than hard copy. This discovery includes, but is not limited to, recorded telephone conversations, police interviews, depositions, investigations, witness statements, and more. The audio and video "words" need to be put to paper, and your already overworked legal staff often don't have the skills, equipment, the inclination or the time.
  • Discovery is often the deciding factor of whether a case goes to trial. Most of us hear, but do we listen? Recently I transcribed a video that had been viewed and listened to several times and by several people before I transcribed it. There was a one sentence statement that not one person caught -- this one sentence was not the only reason the case was dismissed one day before trial--however, it carried quite a bit of weight -- and I'm the only one that "heard" it. Had the video never been transcribed, how many other words would never have been heard?

Add-On Services:

  • laser color printing
  • laminating
  • spiral binding
  • proofreading/editing your work product

Your Documents are Your Reputation ...
Making Them Look Good is Mine!©1992-2016 Carolyn Bodley

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