British Columbia Official Reporter Oath a Digital Backdoor?

After the release of my blog about Veritext’s British Columbia advertorial, a reader sent me more information on the province. Their verbal oath confirmation from 1980 was lost and they were asked to sign a new document for them to stay on the official or authorized reporter list.

This reader believes that the language “or reporter realtime technologies” is intentionally vague so as to allow digital reporters in British Columbia. Years ago, I would’ve said “no way.” But given Stenograph’s push to call digital court reporting technologies realtime, it seems much more likely than not.

I’m also informed by this reader that there is a rumor Veritext is charging a separate fee for witness swearing. The reader stated swear-ins need to be done by official court reporters, therefore, lawyers will be economically incentivized to not have swear-ins, potentially allowing digital in the door. The reader’s prediction was such a fee would rise over time to push things further in that direction and allow companies like Veritext to cut stenographers out entirely. I don’t know that they’d cut us entirely, but I do know that increasing the pool of court reporters will cause rates to fall. That goes back to my whole supply & demand argument.

Official reporter oath sent by a retired British Columbia reporter. Allows for “real-time reporting technologies,” which is what Stenograph has now referenced its digital programs as being.

It’s kind of sad that the corporations spent two decades telling everybody realtime is the future just to pull the rug out from under the actual realtime reporters and just say whatever technology they’re peddling is realtime. Now that that trust is broken, Stenograph and any company like it will probably never have it again. When we figure out a way to ween ourselves off of their dominant position in the hardware and software market, it’s an entire stream of revenue that’ll be lost to them, and deservedly so.

This can be a lesson to us in the United States about how language can be used to lie without technically lying. If you’re dealing with someone with sales or legal training, it’s probably best to be on guard, and remember they’re not your friend.

Reader, if you’re reading and want to be credited, let me know. More often than not, people like the anonymity. Maybe we’re all Stenonymous.


A commentator wrote that in 2021 the rule was changed so that everybody had to resubmit their oath. So it is possible that it was not “lost,” but rather a thing that everybody had to do. Because of my lack of familiarity there, I can only go by what I’m told.

Update 5/9/23

My source wrote to me stating they do not believe it was related to the resubmission issue in 2021.

Response from Stenonymous source regarding 2021 rule change in British Columbia.

4 thoughts on “British Columbia Official Reporter Oath a Digital Backdoor?

  1. NCRA needs to adopt a “Responsible Charge” statement and this is how we need to position ourselves to survive. Look at how the Society of Professional Engineers weathered this storm two decades ago. They survived. We need to do what they did. This is what they did. Look it up.

  2. “Their verbal oath confirmation from 1980 was lost and they were asked to sign a new document for them to stay on the official or authorized reporter list.” This is a bit misleading. The regulation governing court reporters in BC was updated in 2021, and everyone had to effectively renew to remain on the list.

    1. I have reported accurately what the retired reporter told me, but I thank you for providing more information if you have reason to believe that’s not correct. I’ll add an addendum.

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