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

(to see archived blog entries, click on the links to the right of the top blog)

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

BLOG - I spilt the milk -- so what?

Why is it that people can't admit that they did something wrong? But noooooo, they either try to sweep it under the rug (like who is going to look for it there ...) or they immediately point the finger and say that someone else did it. The "someone else blame game" always occurs when that person is not in the room or haven't worked there for ages. 

What is wrong with simply admitting you did something or you didn't do something?

At what age did the innocense of childhood disappear?--when kids didn't know how to lie or to blame?

I admit to anything I do wrong, but I WILL NOT take the blame for someone else's finger pointing because they simply are not man enough or woman enough to stand up to the plate and admit that they messed up.

When I quit making mistakes, I might as well die. How about you?

[end of blog] 

8:38 am mdt 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

BLOG - Transcription quotes

Yesterday I received a phone call from a woman in need of a transcript. I probably do just as many transcripts for the general public as I do for lawyers. I began with my normal questions that I always ask at the beginning of a phone conversation:

1. How as the audio recorded?

Answer: Using a hand-held recorder.

2. How many people on the audio?

Answer: Two. My husband and another man.

3. Was the other man aware the conversation was being recorded?

Answer: Yes. The recorder was placed in the middle of a table.

4. Is the audio legible?

Now most people usually lie when I ask this question. Answer: Well, no. The conversation took place in the middle of a Starbucks and you hear all the background conversation and noise.

The woman expects me to give her a rock-solid (and rock bottom) price right then and there on the phone. I won't give an estimate, let alone a final price before ever starting the project without first listening to the audio. I believe that is even spelled out several times on my web page. I did tell her my hourly rate and that a "good quality" audio usually takes 4:1 meaning four times the length of the audio. I continued that the poorer the quality of the audio, the higher and further apart the time it takes to complete and the audio recording time. I've had such bad and poorly recorded audio that it took me 11:1. Gasping in disbelief, this woman continues that "it's not all that bad" -- my how it changes from not being clear due to background noise and conversations to "it's not all that bad" !!! 

5. My final question was because of the poorly recorded audio, do they want it true verbatim?

Answer. Well, yes -- we will probably have to use it in a court proceeding. She continued that her husband had already listened to it and typed out most of it, but that she refuses to type it for him.

Okay. Let me get this right -- your husband and a man talked in a Starbucks. The conversation was recorded on a hand-held digital recorder. Because of the number of people in Starbucks and the noise from background conversations and all the coffee shop noise, the audio is less than pristine. Your husband has listened to it and typed out most of it, but because it is probably going to end up in court, you want a professionally transcribed verbatim audio transcript to present to the court? 

Once again I told her that I would not quote her a price until I actually briefly listened to the audio, but I again told her about the 4:1 ratio standard that 99.9% of transcriptionists fall into. She told me that the audio was only 36 minutes. I told her that transcription was not done in "real" time and that there was no way 36 minutes of audio would only take 36 minutes to transcribe.

I assume in trying to get me to discount my rates, she told me that she had found someone else that quoted a $1.50 per minute. I refuse to negotiate my rates with a low-ball client, so in concluding the call I simply told her to "go for it."  

I have known more than one transcript that determined the outcome of a trial. This has been my profession for far too many years than bicker with a client or a "maybe" client that begins with wanting to nickle and dime the price of a transcript that can be a deciding point in a trial. I actually wish the woman and her husband good luck -- the question that I bit my tongue from asking was: Yes, but how many minutes is the $1.50 transcriptionist going to take?

Sometimes it is better just to keep my humor to myself.

[end of blog] 

3:42 pm 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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