N E W S

Further Information: David Bookstaver, New York State Communications Director Unified Court System
Mai Yee, Communications Officer (212) 428-2500

Jonathan Lippman

Chief Administrative Judge

Release: Immediate, January 13, 1998

Reform of Court Reporter Transcript Rates

NEW YORK—Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that the Administrative Board of the Courts, composed of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the four Presiding Justices of the State's Appellate Divisions, has approved new guidelines for uniform rates to be charged by court reporters for expedited preparation of court records.

"Until now, the rates court reporters have charged litigants for court transcripts have varied greatly throughout the state, depending on factors that include the speed in which the copy is needed and the level of demand for services," said Judge Lippman. "These factors have contributed to a system of fees that can be arbitrary and offers little consistency for the individual litigant. The new guidelines inject fairness by establishing standard rates litigants can be charged for services and by requiring that written agreements be filed with court administrators. The ability to obtain court copy in a timely manner is fundamental to the day-to-day practice of law, and it is vital to have a system that promotes equitableness and consistency throughout the state."

Deputy Chief Administrator Ann Pfau said, "By requiring that the specific terms of agreements for transcripts be detailed in writing, the new court rules will minimize potential

misunderstandings and disputes over fees. This will protect the interests of both court reporters and litigants and preserve the professionalism of these transactions."

The new rates, which apply only to private party transactions, mirror those in federal courts: $4.40 per page for expedited copy (within 7 calendar days) and $5.50 for daily copy. The Administrative Board, in passing the new guidelines, also put the bar on notice that they need pay no more than $1.375 per page for transcripts that are not daily or expedited and that, under the Judiciary Law, they are entitled to have them produced with "all reasonable diligence." The guidelines, which take effect February 1, 1998, also require that private agreements for copy preparation between court reporters and litigants be filed in a written form with court administrators for monitoring purposes.

###