Judicial Branch

Pay Once; Not Three Times, For Same Thing

Did you know that the federal government often pays its court reports three times for the same service? First, the district courts pay court reporters their annual salary and benefits. In return, court reporters transcribe all public proceedings before each district judge, and provide those judges with transcripts when requested. Second, in a case in which a criminal is represented by a federal defender or court-appointed attorney, that attorney pays the court reporter for those same transcripts, and then obtains reimbursement for those costs from the court. Third, the United States Attorney's Office pays the court reporter for the very same transcripts. Not a bad deal for the court reporters in those cases, but a bad deal for the government.

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Idea No. 6179