California Official Court Reporters Association

What happened to COCRA’s page-rate bill in 2006?

Posted in Page Rate, Word Count

AB2305 (Klehs): The Solution that Hit a Brick Wall
What happened to COCRA’s page-rate bill in 2006?

The following information is from a bill that COCRA introduced back in 2006. If AB 2305 had passed, statewide billing for court transcripts would have become standardized and more user-friendly.

Here are the highlights:

*Transcript billing by the page
*Universal transcript format
*Prohibition on loaning transcripts

Wait, there’s more!

*Originals: $3.57/page
*Copy: .63/page
*18% premium for civil
*50% premium for all daily service

The Brick Wall: An agreement between the Legislature and the Bar to a three-year moratorium on civil fee increases . The Bar successfully argued that new transcript rates were subject to the fee moratorium; therefore, the AB2305 was pulled until the moratorium was over.

Would AB2305 have been the solution to our current word count woes? YES!! COCRA still believes page rate is the answer. The civil fee moratorium is over. Now is the time for serious reform.

Bring back AB2305, The Transcript Reform Act!

BILL NUMBER: AB 2305 INTRODUCED
BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Klehs

FEBRUARY 22, 2006

An act to amend Sections 69950, 69951, and 69554 of the Government Code, relating to courts.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2305, as introduced, Klehs Courts: court reporting.

Existing law establishes the fees for transcription services of court reporters. Existing law provides that the fee for transcription
for original ribbon or printed copy is 85 for each 100 words, and for each copy purchased at the same time, 15 for each 100 words. Existing law also provides that the fee for a first copy not simultaneously purchased with the original is 20 for each 100 words, and for each additional copy, purchased at the same time, 15 for each 100 words.

This bill would increase those fees to $3.57 a page for each original printed copy and 63 a page for each copy. The bill would also authorize the fee for transcription in civil matters upon order of the court to be increased in the amount of 18% per page more than those fees set forth above. The bill would also specify the formatting for transcripts, make related changes, and would set forth findings and declarations of the Legislature.

Existing law authorizes a court reporter in civil cases to charge for transcription an additional 50% for special daily copy service.

This bill would instead authorize an additional 50% fee for special daily copy service for all matters.

Existing law authorizes a court, party, or person who has purchased a transcript to reproduce a copy or portion thereof as an exhibit, pursuant to court order or rule, or for internal use, without paying a further fee to the reporter, but prohibits otherwise providing or selling a copy or copies to any other party or person.

This bill would also prohibit loaning a copy or copies to any other party or person.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) Official court reporters and court reporters pro tempore employed by the courts are currently paid under a dual payment structure in which the base salary of the court reporter is supplemented by income from preparing transcripts and providing other transcription services.

(b) The dual compensation structure protects the state from bearing the full cost of transcript preparation and the provision of other transcription services with the attendant consequences of overtime liability.

(c) Consistency in pricing of transcript preparation and the provision of other transcription services promotes the sound public policy of ensuring that the public is informed about the price of the transcripts they are purchasing. Further, consistency in pricing assists in combating the practice of inappropriate overcharging for the preparation of transcripts and the provision of other services.

(d) In order to ensure full and fair compensation of official court reporters and court reporters pro tempore employed by the court, and in order to attract and retain official court reporters and court reporters pro tempore employed by the courts, of sufficient skill and competence to serve the needs of the justice system, it is imperative that the system of dual compensation provide for sufficient payment of transcription services.

(e) Therefore, it is necessary to revise the fees and formats for transcripts prepared by official court reporters and court reporters
pro tempore accordingly.

SEC. 2. Section 69950 of the Government Code is amended to read:
69950. (a) The A transcript prepared by an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore employed by a court shall be subject to the following fees and format:
(a) The fee for transcription for any matter, other than civil matters, for an original ribbon or printed copy is eighty-five cents ($0.85) three dollars fifty-seven cents ($3.57) for each 100 words page, and for each copy purchased at the same time by the court, party, or other person purchasing the original, fifteen cents ($0.15) for each 100 words is sixty-three cents($0.63) for each page .
(b) The fee for a first copy to any court, party, or other person who does not simultaneously purchase the original shall be twenty cents ($0.20) for each 100 words, and for each additional
copy, purchased at the same time, fifteen cents ($0.15) for each 100 words transcription in civil matters or upon order of the court shall be increased in the amount of 18 percent per page above the fees set forth in subdivision (a) .

(c) A “page” means any page required by statute, rule, regulation, or order of the court.

(d) Transcripts shall be formatted as follows:

(1) Twenty-eight lines per page, numbered one to 28, inclusive.
(2) Text shall be double-spaced.
(3) Each page shall be numbered consecutively at the bottom right, below the last line of text.
(4) The top and bottom margins shall be no less than either .75 or.8 inches.
(5) The left margin from the document’s edge to the line numbering shall be 1.25 or 1.3 inches.
(6) The left margin from the document’s edge to the first character of a line of text shall be 1.75 or 1.8 inches.
(7) Text shall be justified at the left margin and not justified at the right margin.
(8) Text shall contain up to 62 characters per line, excluding line numbers and time stamping, with each line containing as many words as will fit within 62 characters. Characters include blank spaces.
(9) Colloquy, new paragraphs, question (Q.) and answer (A.) symbols, and parentheticals shall begin five spaces from the left text margin, and subsequent text shall return to the left text margin.
(10) Speakers shall be identified in colloquy in all capitals, followed by a colon, followed by two spaces.
(11) In colloquy, the letter “Q” followed by a period, shall follow the colon after the speaker’s name by two spaces, and the following text shall begin two spaces from the “Q.”.
(12) In continuous question and answer, the text shall follow the “Q.” or “A.” by five spaces.
(13) Quoted material and jury instructions shall begin 10 spaces from the left text margin, and subsequent text shall be indented five spaces from both

the left and right margins.
(14) Transcripts shall not include a box or border around the text.

SEC. 3. Section 69951 of the Government Code is amended to read:

69951. For transcription, in civil cases, the reporter may charge The fee for transcription is an additional 50 percent for special daily copy service.
SEC. 4. Section 69954 of the Government Code is amended to read:

69954. (a) Transcripts prepared by a reporter using computer assistance and delivered on a medium other than paper shall be compensated at the same rate set for paper transcripts, except the
reporter may also charge an additional fee not to exceed the cost of the medium or any copies thereof.
(b) The fee for a second copy of a transcript on appeal in computer-readable format ordered by or on behalf of a requesting party within 120 days of the filing or delivery of the original transcript shall be compensated at one-third the rate set forth for a second copy of a transcript as provided in Section 69950. A reporter may also charge an additional fee not to exceed the cost of the medium or any copies thereof.

(c) The fee for a computer-readable transcript shall be paid by the requesting court, party, or person, unless the computer-readable transcript is requested by a party in lieu of a paper transcript
required to be delivered to that party by the rules of court. In that event, the fee shall be chargeable as statute or rule provides for the paper transcript.

(d) Any court, party, or person who has purchased a transcript may, without paying a further fee to the reporter, reproduce a copy or portion thereof as an exhibit pursuant to court order or rule, or
for internal use, but shall not otherwise provide , loan, or sell a copy or copies to any other party or person.

Posted on April 24, 2012 by admin

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