Veritext and US Legal Lied to the Public About Stenographer Shortage

Veritext, through its puppet Cooper, and US Legal, have both been lying about the stenographer shortage. How do we know? Cooper claims the problem started 8 years ago. This is objectively false. Firms 8 years ago were saying they could not pay better rates because there was a glut of reporters. Even if you don’t believe that, stenographers are 30 years behind inflation, which does not happen if a field is experiencing a shortage.

But they’ve made it even easier to tell they are lying and committing a fraud against the legal profession. Let’s see what Cooper has to say.

As you can see, Cooper claims you would need 82,000 students to enroll in court reporting training programs nationwide in 2019 and each year following in order to overcome the deficit.

What does US Legal say?

Wow. 82,000 enrollments needed and only 2,500 enrollments occurred. Sounds like a death knell for stenography. Right?

Liars. How do we know? In 2014, BLS told us there were 21,000 court reporters. From my own independent analysis of the numbers and NCRA statistics, there are actually closer to 27,000 or 28,000 court reporters. It does not matter whose statistics you use, the conclusion they’re lying remains the same. There was no shortage crisis in 2014. We have roughly the same number of court reporters today as we did back then. The 2013 Ducker Report told us that 70% of court reporters would retire over the next 20 years (2013-2033). 70% of that 28,000 is about 20,000 reporters. Succinctly, the retirement cliff we are trying so hard to fight is about 20,000 people if you trust NCRA and about 15,000 people if you trust the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About 10% of people that start steno graduate. So if we had 82,000 enrollments a year, that’s 8,200 new stenographers per year. But look at what US Legal wrote again. “We needed 82,000 new students to enroll in court reporting training programs nationwide each year to overcome the impact.” If we, in fact, have 82,000 new students each year from 2019 to 2033 (15 years), we would have 1.23 million enrollments or 123,000 graduates. Our field would be quadruple the size it is today, and if you go by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly six times larger than it was in 2014.

To combat our retirement cliff of 20,000 people between 2019 and 2033, we need a total of 200,000 enrollments. That’s about 13,400 enrollments or 1,340 graduates a year, a number six times smaller than the one proffered by US Legal and Veritext/Cooper. If you’re six feet tall, that’s like me claiming you’re 36 feet tall. If we required 8,200 stenographers per year, about half of all depositions would be going uncovered right now (8,200 x 3 years 2019-2021, a gap and demand for 25,000 stenographers by 2021.)

If you accept Owler’s revenue numbers, Veritext controls about $490 million in revenue and US Legal controls about $100 million. That’s a combined total of $590 million. If you accept the Kentley Insights 2019 Stenotype Services market research report, that’s about 20% of our field, and they are using their power to destroy it.

590 million divided by 3 billion is almost 20%

Some have said: They’re lying. So what?

Well, the market preference is stenography.

Court Reporting Industry Outlook 2013-2014 Ducker Worldwide

We know from nonprofits like Protect Your Record Project that attorneys are being told they must accept digital because no stenographer is available even after attorneys order stenographers. So we know there’s some serious false advertising going on.

Previously, I was unsure if there was collusion between major players in the field. Considering that both are using similar language it seems unlikely that both have come independently to the same incorrect conclusion. It’s not like the two firms are enemies. They’ve lobbied together before.

It seems much more likely that following fraudster Jim Cudahy’s lead via the Speech-To-Text Institute, the two companies are involved in a plot to hurt the market and rob consumers of their choice. Quite frankly, Cudahy uses his ex-NCRA credentials to lend credibility to this fraud. After all, STTI has been instrumental in creating the propaganda ruining our field. STTI was, without a doubt, created for the sole purpose of promulgating propaganda and facilitating the ongoing fraud, against its stated mission of representing all modalities in speech-to-text transcription. STTI’s lies are also easy to see through.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly

A gap of 11,000 predicted by 2023 according to a recent study. What study was that? None. The year 2023 doesn’t appear in the Ducker Report. At best, these numbers are extrapolated from an outdated report that could not account for the positive recruitment impact of NCRA A to Z, Project Steno, and Open Stenoinitiatives that Jim Cudahy should have known about in 2019.

Unless you believe 2 + 2 = 24, the stenographer shortage is being exaggerated and exacerbated by Veritext and US Legal Support. And now you have a brief video to help explain it directly to attorneys.

20 thoughts on “Veritext and US Legal Lied to the Public About Stenographer Shortage

  1. The Cooper link provided sent me to an article written by a person with no understanding or real-world experience in verbatim transcription. Until you are trained to capture every word, you will never understand what a vast difference there is between verbatim and listening in context. The latter being normal human behavior, but not adequate for record-making when life, liberty, and money is on the line. How does a digi know when words are lost when they are not trained to notice?

    Beyond that, that article tries to imply that adding a human without the verbatim listening skills and immense focus is the same as a steno. It is not and never will be comparable to having a trained, experienced steno who is responsible from beginning to end, including owning the final product, I spent countless nights as a new reporter learning valuable lessons that only verbatim listening and final prep of the transcript can teach. So much will be lost in the hands of multiple parties with no one party ultimately responsible for the finished transcript. You have to care about your reputation and your career to spend the amount of time stenos do in making sure our product is as accurate as HUMANLY possible.

    Lastly, multiple firms in my market stopped reaching out to me for work when I put my own rates in place and stopped agreeing to just accept their unfair rates and their wink-wink arrangements in which I was treated as an employee, not an IC. There is no steno shortage in my market. There is, however, a shortage of stenos willing to be exploited so a few people can reap huge rewards.

    1. Ate you living under a rock? Every single one of your articles are completely inaccurate and contrived. There’s been major studies released, and even the NCRA agrees there is a shortage and it will continue to get worse.

      1. You’re incorrect that my articles are inaccurate. There was one study released, the court reporting industry outlook 2013-2014, and that forecasted the shortage eight years ago. Then, completely ignoring the progress made in recruiting, Cudahy, USL, and Veritext all started extrapolating the forecast numbers and ignoring the recruitment initiatives.

        It’s like if eight years ago I said you better start saving money. You start saving the money. Eight years go by of you saving money and without checking I just go “you didn’t save enough. Too bad. I win.”

        That is what has been done.

      2. Chris probably doesn’t even know what the NCRA is lol. He obviously doesn’t know the industry at all and is just trying to get views at the expense of us individual court reporters.

      3. I am literally a certified member of the NCRA and anyone on the planet can look that up via NCRA PRO Link. Judging by the fact that you and Brad tend to write on here during the late night and early morning hours, I can’t help but start to wonder if you are hired trolls from Moscow. Audrey Patrick Reporting was a California service (appears defunct). It would be 2:10 a.m. there now. Moscow’s around 1:10 p.m. So unless you have some proof you’re Audrey Patrick, I wrote a post about this happening. Guess what? It’s your lucky day. I heard the other day that the US Government is paying big $$$ to foreign troll operatives that come clean and testify about any Americans trying to rig American markets. You have to give them passcode FGRABALZBHF. ( ) ( )

  2. Mr. Christopher Day, the man that knows if there is a real shortage in the industry based on…. Let me help you out a little. While you’re sitting in your bedroom doing remote or in a New York courtroom, there are depositions, meetings, and trials not taking place across the country because attorneys cannot find a reporter to take the assignment. It is rapidly getting worse. Until all the technologies and personalities come together and get along, the crisis will continue and some will be left in the dust. Technologies change or otherwise reporters would still be using pencils! There is room for everyone once egos are checked at the door, . Also, not sure how you can say new technology is not as effective when approximately 75% of the courts are now recording TRIALS, and state legislative events around the country. You should know it always comes down to the transcribing and proofing if all the information has been properly captured and marked initially. Every single one of these articles are nonsense. Seriously! I’m truly embarrassed for you to read these so-called facts you throw out. Never met someone more out of touch with what is taking place in the industry.

      1. That’s your answer? One Fox News article about one situation that didn’t go well? Just a reminder there’s numerous articles about stenographs going off the hinge. On the other hand a majority of all the courts are recording everything and it hasn’t changed, but only increasing yearly. This is exactly what I’m saying. You are incredibly weak with your reasoning. Very understandable though, because there isn’t any downside to the other Technologies except for certain parties being greedy and wanting to keep the business for themselves and control the market. Really, really pathetic positioning you have. Going to have to start going through each and every article and set the record straight because these blogs are horrendous.

      2. My reasoning is so strong that I have invited you to comment these long tirades in the first place. I give numbers, facts, figures, actual events. You have not actually pointed out any problem with my work.

        Perhaps the courts are recording because the majority of the money from recording goes to marketing and the majority of the money for us goes to our sustenance and self-improvement.

  3. “Perhaps the courts are recording because the majority of the money from recording goes to marketing and the majority of the money for us goes to our sustenance and self-improvement.”

    Every article is a Christopher Day hypothesis of how the legal industry works with no factual information.The issue is you don’t know the answers. Just be honest! Your entire blog is “The World According to Chris.’ Also, the tirades are not my commentaries. It’s the long-winded, (many times hateful) articles you write. Being a Stenographer is a well respected field. I would focus on your real job because your embarrassing the field besides your 10 or so groupies that could care less about the industry, but more concerned of keeping this massive shortage active for their own financial gain. You are seriously turning off many potentials interested in the field by dividing the industry. So, great job!

    1. This is how the world works. I put out some facts and the reasonable conclusions I think can be drawn given all the info I have. If someone credibly refutes something I’ve posted or even gives an honest viewpoint that I may have overlooked, I add it as an addendum and do the best I can with it.

      My tactics are effective. You’re here. I welcome you here. I’ve spent ad money to get you here. We have different objectives. Your apparent objective is to get me to silence you. My objective is to get people talking. Guess which of us is closest to his goal.

  4. There have been multiple market studies from third party agencies stating that there is a massive shortage of court reporters. I’m not sure why you even have a blog if all you post is fake news. Before you spread information, you might want to check your facts. As seen above, if you don’t, the smart people who are actually in the industry and see how serious the demand is will check your “facts.” Just try to be better at your job, Chrisy 🙂

    1. Oh? State one fact I got wrong and explain to me why, if I am factually incorrect, neither of the major corporations I’ve accused has attempted to correct me or asked me to stop publishing.

      Kidding about the second bit. But seriously, everyone reading can see you are using a bandwagon propaganda approach so that future readers doubt what I’ve published. The problem is that all of my readers are too smart for that trick.

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