HOW MUCH ARE REPORTERS PAID?
In the midwest region where I live (Nebraska, Kansas, etc.) the average is
around $3.00/page for an original & one copy (which is a minimum billing)
However, many of them work for one firm in this area of the country. I
know that there are many actual freelancers out there who work for a variety
of firms in their area like some reporters in other parts of the country do.
I know that for two firms that I work with, the reporters I scope for only
get 75% of the actual original and copy billing - they get nothing for
supplied, like keyword indexing, dirty disks, rough drafts, etc. That all
goes into the firm (remember, this is just the two firms that I work with -
don't know about others).
When you take that $3/page and take out 25%, they're only realizing
$2.25/page on an O&1.
However, the rates are not standard across the country. Where my dad lives,
in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, they charge a minimum of $5/page
charge anywhere from $2 to $3/page extra for technical/medical depos, at
least in the firms he's worked with they do.
So it's hard to pinpoint an actual cost that reporters get.
I charge one price to my reporters, no matter where they live. I do not
adjust for how many copies they might happen to tell me that they're
And it would simply be too confusing for me to try to keep up with what
everyone charges and my trying to compensate myself for the differences -
I personally regard it as an invasion of their privacy for me to go
into what they make.
I earn a fair living, it helps meet the bills, and I'm lucky that all my
reporters that I have now are good payers.
Just my 2¢ worth. :)
Reporters are paid varying rates and there are quite a few things that go
into the determination. If they work for an agency, different agencies take
different percentages of their page rate. If they do realtime, they get a
higher page rate. Officials have a set page
rate (along with their salaries).
Rates also vary around the country. For instance, I have found that New
has so many
different page rates, partially because of contracting. It runs from very,
very low, to very
high. I worked for one firm in New York that had a decent page rate but the
time was very fast.
I always try to work with the reporter and while I have a standard starting
rate, if their work
is really clean and they pay promptly, I am willing to adjust a little for that
if their page rate is
I just called the official reporter that I have been with since 1982 and
I posed the question, she laughed. If I had asked "about a month ago and
the 20 years before that, the answer would have been $2 per page." They
been given a page raise since now they must also provide an ASCII copy of
matters ordered for appeal. She thinks the average for officials and
freelancers in this area falls between $3 and $4 per page, depending on how
many copies are ordered. For federal officials and freelancers, though they
split with the agency, that can be dirty disks, minuscripts and ASCIIs over
and above the standard hard copy. I haven't seen dirty disks ordered in our
state court save for the State of New Jersey -- the reporters must provide
for FREE dirty disks of all Megan's Law hearings. They do, however, provide
the disks. LOL
I hope this helps.
I didn't see anything mentioned about the fact that most reporters also get an appearance fee or per diem fee. That makes a big difference. If they were only getting $3 a page, gave some of that to the firm they work for and some to their scopist, they'd be left with not enough to make it worth anything. Reporters I've asked in the past make an average of $75 to $150 per diem, plus their page rate!
A reporter writes: Other jurisdictions that I know of in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, only page $1.25 per page to the Reporter. For a scopist to think that the pay range is in the $3-$5 range is unfair and not truthful to them.
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