In addition to value-added services like rough drafts, realtime translation, and expedited delivery, which are further described below, any factor that makes transcription take longer, requires specialized skill, or otherwise be more expensive to produce typically generates a surcharge. This can include testimony that contains more technical terminology, is of higher density, video-recorded and/or taken by videoconference, interpreted, and/or where a good percentage of the testimony is overly fast with garbled and/or overlapping speech. Below are common categories of testimony that are subject to a surcharge followed by their respective characteristics.
Historically, this surcharge has been associated with the testimony of a medical doctor using medical and technical terms, abbreviations, and other associated lingo often at a high rate of speed – sometimes referred to as med/tech. Rather than combine expert and technical, Cornerstone has separate lower surcharges for each as applicable, with expert testimony generally having higher density (more words/folios per page) than lay testimony but not necessarily being technical or overly fast.
Arbitrations, Trials, Hearings
Dispute-resolution proceedings are typically more difficult logistically, with more speakers than would be part of a deposition, multiple witnesses, and portions of the proceedings that are overly fast and of higher density (more words/folios per page). There are also additional indexing requirements.
Video-Recorded Proceedings (videographer fees additional)
Editors and proofreaders charge reporters more to work with audio and video files.
Participants Appearing by Phone/Videoconference
Testimony by videoconference can be more difficult in that it is often harder to hear and understand participants and to differentiate speakers, and it can take longer to transcribe. It can also require special equipment, setup, and/or training to facilitate.
SOFTGHAOS (sustained overly fast, technical, garbled, heavy accent, and/or overlapping speech)
No matter which reporting method is being utilized – steno, voice, or digital – it makes it more difficult and time consuming to capture and transcribe the record, sometimes exponentially so, when any of these factors are at play, with all being avoidable except a heavy accent or technical terminology.
Interpreted Proceedings (interpreter fees additional)
Interpreted proceedings take much longer to report and longer to transcribe. Sometimes they are also more difficult to hear and understand depending on the skill level and accent of the interpreter and whether the witness sometimes breaks through in English.
Although somewhat self-explanatory, value-added services provide additional value and are performed to meet client demands. These services are usually performed by court reporters with advanced skill level and often require the assistance of editors and proofreaders who charge higher rates for expedited turnaround.
Rough Draft Delivery (same day or soon thereafter)
In addition to being a value-added service, a surcharge for rough draft delivery is due to the extra work required by a reporter with advanced skill level and/or higher rates charged by editors and proofreaders for fast turnaround, which may include working overtime and outside of regular business hours. Not all reporters are able to provide a same-day or next-day rough draft. Please ask when scheduling if you require a rough draft of a transcript.
Realtime Translation (live text feed of proceedings)
In addition to being a value-added service, realtime translation requires a more highly skilled reporter with extra equipment, software, and training. Providing realtime translation is more difficult and demanding than an average rough draft. Edited realtime translation requires hiring an editor to work remotely. Not all reporters are able to provide realtime translation. Please ask when scheduling if you require realtime translation.
Expedited Final Transcript Delivery
In addition to being a value-added service, depending on turnaround requirements, providing expedited final transcripts most often results in overtime by the reporter, editors, and proofreaders in order to meet deadlines. Also, turnaround for other transcripts may be delayed. Not all reporters are able to produce same-day or next-day final turnaround. Please ask when scheduling if you require an expedited final transcript.
The above charges vary from firm to firm, with the most significant increases tied to value-added services: rough drafts, realtime translation, and expedited delivery. A same-day or next-day final can sometimes double costs, and not all reporters are able to provide these services without advance notice.
If you know or think you might require one of these value-added services, please confirm when you first schedule the assignment.