Penny Wise & Pound Foolish: Paying Court Reporters
Court reporters provide a very specialized skill that is acquired through many rigorous hours of training and practice. After perfecting their craft, they rightfully want to be paid a salary that is comparable to their invested time and provided services; not to mention the financial investment that it takes to get to the point of being a start-up reporter. For this reason, many reporters understandably eschew working for a salary that is not commensurate with their skill set.
Entities that hire court reporters must realize that it is “penny wise and pound foolish” to price court reporters out of the legal industry. According to a recent WBTV article, state budget cuts (which have allegedly lead to court reporters’ salaries being cut in half) are greatly affecting Mecklenburg County’s (North Carolina) ability to fill court-reporter positions. The article states that low salary offers are deterring reporters from filling the vacant positions.
According to WBTV, a North Carolina attorney has astutely expressed, “not paying court reporters enough money could end up costing the state more in the long run. ‘In our case, there was a several hour delay where we were trying to make arrangements for a court reporter,’ said Monnett [an attorney]. ‘During that time, the state was paying the bailiffs, the clerks, the jurors, the judge, and all that money was wasted.’”