Last week, Slate reporter Emma Copley Eisenberg did a piece on the “astronomical price” charged by court reporters for trial transcripts. Eisenberg was stunned by the “outrageous fees” charged by court reporters when she wanted to investigate a case involving a farmer who had been convicted of a double homicide. When Eisenberg went to the courthouse to obtain a copy of the criminal trial transcript, she learned it would cost her $2400.00 to obtain a copy of the transcript. (Notably, it cost the farmer nearly $7,000 for the original transcript.) Eisenberg got a quick lesson on something trial lawyers have long known: litigation is expensive. Why is that?
Let me give you a little background to help you understand why it is so exorbitant. To begin your lawsuit, your attorney must prepare a complaint. Before doing so, the attorney will investigate your case, and this will often involve paying for copies of police reports, scene photographs, vehicle downloads, medical records, etc. Depending upon the severity of the client’s injuries and the complexity of their past medical history, the cost of obtaining just the medical records can easily reach into the thousands. After the investigation is done and the lawsuit prepared, the lawyer will present your lawsuit to the clerk of the appropriate court and pay a filing fee. The filing fee is usually one of the cheapest parts of the lawsuit as on average it runs about $250.00 to $300.00.
After the lawsuit is filed, discovery including depositions typically occur. Each deposition requires the services of a court reporter who places the witness under oath and types everything said by everyone on the record. As Eisenberg noted in her piece for Slate, court reporters and copies of transcripts can be extremely costly. In addition to a court reporter, and depending upon the type of case, a videographer is also needed for depositions, which drives the costs up even more. Liability experts are sometimes needed and medical experts are almost always needed to prove your injury case, so experts are another area of huge expense. If the case goes to trial, expect even more court reporter fees. As you can see, expenses can add up extremely quickly. (Click here for more information on the What Happens After a Lawsuit is Filed)
At the Law Offices of John Day, we want our prospective clients to know something very important about litigation expenses: we advance all litigation expenses for our clients. That means you do not have to pay anything out of pocket for the police report, your medical records, experts or court reporter fees or any other type of expense. Some law firms ask their clients to incur costly litigation loans to pay these expenses but we advance those fees for you. And unlike some lawyers, we never charge interest on our advances. And, of course, we handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you. For more information on how our firm handles fees and expenses, click here.
Our award-winning attorneys have been helping injured people and their family for decades. We provide a free initial case evaluation. All you have to do is call us at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free) or contact us online. We have been privileged to help thousands of satisfied clients and we would be honored to help you too.