Recently I was contacted by a LinkedIn profile named Craig Saunders. This led to contact from JusticeForCraigSaunders.com, which redirects here. As I understand it, Mr. Saunders and/or people seeking justice on his behalf are saying that there are different versions of the same transcript, all with variations among them. He’s seeking to answer several questions. Some of the questions, like how to prove something, are really meant for a lawyer. But some of the questions do seem answerable by court reporters.
Full disclosure, I think he’s trying to say the court reporter did wrong here, but then that’s sort of why I was interested to begin with, because my expert opinion very well may have been everything made sense. I don’t know. I haven’t reviewed the materials. But honestly, not all court reporter mistakes are malicious, and sometimes litigants truly believe that they are. It’s a risk that comes with the job. I know I could be called to testify about any transcript I put out. Will it ever happen?
Anyway, based on the representation that it would be about 200 pages of review/work, I put forward an estimate of $500, a deposit of $250, and basically said I’d only look at the stuff after I got a deposit. Also said if I thought I couldn’t answer the questions after a cursory glance I’d let him know and refund the money. Didn’t discuss anything about travel in the event of testifying. At this time, they’re not going to use my services. But they did ask me to share this with my court reporter audience to see if anybody might put together a better proposal.
So if you’re interested in answering some of these questions, feel free to contact email@example.com. Be reasonably cautious. I haven’t vetted this cause, I’m only passing it along because there might be court reporters out there that want to try their hand at being somebody’s expert. I’ve been given the go ahead to share the materials publicly, so you will be able to make your own judgment call on whether you can help and to what extent. The first few pages detail the objectives of the project and the questions that need answering. Personally, I think my $500 offer was as low as it gets, but if you prove me wrong, feel free to brag about it in the comments.
What I think we need here, in this case, are the stenographic notes. We should definitely start telling defense attorneys to question transcripts more often and even inspect stenographic notes. I know you all hate the harassment, but if they’re thinking about us, we’re in business. Sad reality is that we are where we are today because we became too invisible. We need to be seen as integral. They don’t even know how to challenge our transcripts because we’ve done so excellently for so long. Challenges would also probably create more private sector work, especially if there was a healthy supply of people questioning transcripts and court reporters reviewing stenographic notes. Tell me that Veritext wouldn’t capitalize on a market like that. The shortage would disappear overnight. Maybe that’s where they’re headed with digital. Audio forensic experts and fighting over missing or altered testimony. Just a little bit of playful speculation.
As an aside, it’s been an interesting start to the year. Two litigants have found this blog already. It’s likely to begin attracting more pro se and court-involved members of the public that are interested in court reporting, are looking for court reporters, or are seeking to publish about their case. People feel powerless in the system. Maybe some will see the work I’m doing and throw a dollar down on my Stenonymous.com front page. After all, I’m taking swipes at powerful people while those powerful people are looking to degrade court record accuracy with their recklessness and scheming. Nobody I spoke to last Sunday thinks court record accuracy should go down. Pretty much everybody that hears about what stenographers are being put through and takes the time to understand it sides with us. Not everybody’s got the time, and that’s okay.
Anyway, here’s Mr. Saunders’s materials. TKPWHRUBG.