As a marketing ploy, some court reporting firms give staff of law firms $25, $50 and even $200 if you set a deposition with that firm. There are “gifts” of trips, Dom Perignon, and one firm I know of gives $50 to any paralegal, legal secretary, assistant who takes a deposition off of one court reporting firm’s calendar to put it on their own. Obviously, the dollars can add up quickly. The question becomes: Who is going to pay the taxes for this practice? The law firm? The individual accepting the money? ~ From “Attorneys Beware! IRS Tax Consequences for Law Firms Accepting ‘Gifts’ From Court Reporting Firms,” published by Kramm Court Reporting (JDSupra).
|This lovely gift set can be yours for $189.95.|
I’m a middle-aged paralegal who has worked for the same small law (Golly, I hope it’s not a trademark infringement to use this term even with a space because our firm is truly not big, or even medium-sized) firm for over 16 years. Yes, I am naive. No, I had no idea that some court reporting services are allegedly giving cash, Dom Perignon, and trips as incentives for legal staffers to select their services.
For the record, I have never received cash, Dom Perignon, or trips for scheduling a deposition. We do sometimes get awesome tins of cookies at Christmas, but they’re for everybody, and we can’t squirrel them away in our desks.
To any employees of court reporting services who are reading this post, I am very partial to anyone who can produce a court reporter like a rabbit out of a hat at the ninth hour, usually because everyone on the legal team thought someone else was reserving the reporter.
I have never even tasted Dom Perignon, although I have had that very-delicious-after-the-first-glass $2.99 knock-off bubbly from Food Lion. I obviously need to get out more.