A Puppet Explains Stenonymous and Court Reporting. Seriously!?

More court reporting content for the masses. With more support from stenographers like you, we’ll be moving onto bigger and better things. But if this is entertaining for you, consider dropping me a dollar using the front page of Stenonymous.com.

According to available statistics, court reporters pull in at least $1.2 billion a year across the industry. A fraction of that would supercharge my content creation. With more support I’ll be able to figuratively grind the STTI Bloc into paste. If you ever get tired of playing defense, consider cutting me loose and watching me work.

The Sundance Jurors’ Walkout…

This Vanity Fair exclusive was sent to me by a reader. According to the report, jurors walked out of the Premiere of “Magazine Dreams” because there was a failure to provide captioning and appropriate access for deaf or hard of hearing individuals, including one juror. According to “multiple sources,” the jury has raised concerns about access before.

It’s noted that several filmmakers declined the request to provide open captions and that some buyers suggested including captions on screen could hurt a film’s asking price. I understand the economic concerns. I can’t help but feel this is the same problem we are experiencing all across America. The people in power making decisions are looking at the numbers and not the human impact of their actions. The dollars matter more than the people living, breathing, and in this case, enjoying films.

Sundance itself continues to broadcast its commitment to access.

Perhaps the most notable part of this story for our community is that if automation was good enough, there wouldn’t be a big cost for captioning. If the filmmakers are citing costs for captioning, I extrapolate (1) there are not enough transcribers available to drive down the price further. Supply and demand. (2) Automation is NOT CLOSE. They would be using it.

It’s either that or (3), they didn’t care enough and are trying to save face with their weak excuses.

This is an opportunity for stenographic providers to expand our market. Maybe somebody can use the article I linked as a justification for Sundance to hire a backup stenographer. Who knows what’s possible until we try?

Hat’s off to all the captioners out there providing access and even the captioners-in-training refining their skills. I focus very much on court reporting, but the public gets a lot more exposure to your work. You’re our frontline message for why the world still needs us. Thanks for all you do!

Finally, Another Song About Stenography

After I was given permission to mirror Andy Bajaña’s song, things dried up for a while on my end. I’m pleased to announce a new stenographer song by Anonymous, commissioned by Stenonymous.com.

The song’s available for download at $1.00. The song’s already free on YouTube and easy to share, but I know there will be those of you that want the wav file or to show support.

It’s thanks to this community that I’m able to do things like this. It’s like I keep saying, more resources give me more power to advance our interests.

Perhaps that makes it a good time to lay out some of my long-term goals. I’d like to grow big enough to begin to centralize our stenographic media, get some of our best influencers on a payroll or contract basis, and really begin extending our reach using several different entertainment styles. It’ll take me a long while to do it alone. Not so with the help of my fellow court reporters.

Regardless of what you think of that plan, enjoy the song, and have a great day!

Veritext Seeking Videos to Promote Steno

Veritext announced that it is accepting videos promoting steno. Film a video of yourself with your machine and say “I am a court reporter.” Sample ideas are available.

Veritext calls for videos to promote steno

The “get started” button leads here.

I don’t want to be too disparaging. One of my primary gripes has been the very lopsided promotion of digital, and if they’re doing something positive for us, it should go forward. No doubt, good job, Veritext. Thanks for spending the time and money to do this. I mean that.

I must remind reporters, though, that this is a clear indication that the Speech-to-Text Institute, associated with Veritext’s Adam Friend, lied when it said the stenographer shortage was impossible to solve. If our shortage was impossible to solve, Veritext would have zero incentive to continue to attract anyone to the field. It would, in fact, be heartless to lure people into a dying field. This supports my claim that our field is not dying, and that any decline is reversible. The numbers support this to the extent they exist.

I am ecstatic that Veritext is doing something positive. It doesn’t really negate the fact that they have been advertising for digital reporters on LinkedIn for over a year that I’ve been monitoring it. That means every day spamming jobseekers with digital, digital, digital. So to make a video and release that and share it is nice, but it’s not quite the same impact on the market in my estimation. Maybe I will be wrong. Hopefully I will be wrong. Advertising stenography now gives us the people we’ll need later. Timing and enthusiasm matters. And the timing of this is a little odd. We’re being deleted in Indiana. Has Veritext made a comment to the court about that like many of us have?

If I were Veritext, I’d claim that this video initiative helped solve the shortage and throw Cudahy’s math under the bus. It’d be a smart move for them. They get to be the heroes and cast doubt on Stenonymous in one swift move.

I’ll be submitting a video. I encourage others to if they have the time. While I am suspicious of Veritext’s motives at the top of their corporate structure, most of the people that work below them are going to be decent people. When I submitted something to their reporter corner years ago, it got featured. This is to say I don’t believe videos will be misused in any way. I really believe they’ll do exactly what they’re proposing to do here, and I think it’ll be great.

I just hope there’s more, and that this is not a one-off before they return to burying us.

Propaganda Guide for the Smart Steno Consumer

For those of you that haven’t read up on propaganda and persuasion techniques, you still probably won’t be too surprised to know that leaders, corporations, and all manner of people try to exert control. This usually isn’t done by direct threat or force, but by persuasion. Advertising, to some extent, can be propaganda. Networks of influencers are the modern machine that keep people scrolling. There are innumerable ways that forces we don’t even think about are trying to get in our heads. I confess that I, too, use some of the techniques I’m about to talk about. But that’s the point, if the consumer is aware, then they can make better choices. I am going to be stepping up my media game this year. You’ve all got to be ready.

Types of Propaganda:

Bandwagon Propaganda.

As humans we generally have a desire or drive to fit in. We’re interested in what’s trending for these reasons. When someone is trying to convince you that everyone else is doing it, they might be propagandizing you. In court reporting this is fairly common, software vendors will try to convince you to get on the new thing because everyone is getting on the new thing, but really they just need you buying equipment to feed the economic engines.

Card Stacking Propaganda.

This is about mentioning the positives without the negatives. Stacking all those positive cards on top of each other so that you don’t look at the negatives underneath. To be fair, this is actually a presentation technique and life tip, and I use it often, so I can’t knock it.

Plain Folk Propaganda.

This form of propaganda deals with displaying regular, relatable people and faces in advertising. It can kind of tie into the idea that “normal people” use a product or service being pitched.

Testimonial Propaganda.

This is about getting popular or famous people to pitch a product or service and is viewed as the opposite of plain folk propaganda. This tries to display people you look up to using a product or service so that you use it too.

Glittering Generality Propaganda.

This is when they use corporate speak that doesn’t really mean anything. Things like “we’ll be there for you” or “on your side.” Things that make you feel good, but don’t really convey a message or promise.

Name Calling Propaganda.

This is pretty rare in the corporate world, which is why I use it. This is exactly what it sounds like. Characterizing people. Calling people names. A fraud, a fake, a liar. It’s nasty stuff. I think my first use of this was when I called Frank N Sense a monster. Still kind of a monster. They posted that the NCRA board should resign. I honestly can’t agree. The NCRA board has the profession’s best interests at heart. Everybody has to follow through with what they know and believe in their hearts. It’s going to be just a little different for each of us. But I think they’re doing a damn good job this year and last. But anyway, name calling, yeah.

Transfer Propaganda.

This is when the propagandist uses something they believe will resonate with you in their messaging. Things like using a person’s religion to sell them things, or as I’ve said from our field, the “democratization of technology.” Most people like democracy, right? Transfer propaganda! If they’re using a vague concept related to something you love, it might be a flag.

Ad Nauseam Propaganda.

This is about messaging. Constant messaging so that you remember the brand. When I’m feeling healthy, I’m a little guilty of this, because I can write a lot more.

Stereotyping & Appeal to Prejudice Propaganda.

This is a big one. Pretty much every major player on the field is using this one against court reporters right now. We all have certain beliefs about digital reporters. We saw it when Verbit called them low skill. We see it when it’s used as a motivator to get people engaging with associations. We see corporations using it to eradicate us, pretending we’re obsolete because that’s our stereotype. The bottom line is that these players understand you. They understand how you think and what you like and don’t like. They understand how you feel about yourself. They’re going to be thinking about how to extract more money from you using that information. This was also effectively used to divide reporters, because for the last decade we were all on this “realtime is the future, everyone must tech up” drive, getting down on people who didn’t play the tech consumer game, and then when everybody sold enough equipment and training there, they packed up and went digital. This is why I have identified group think as dangerous to the profession. If they know us too well, they can manipulate more dollars out of us without giving us enough benefit.

Appeal to Fear Propaganda.

This is about using fear to get people to do things. It can be a product meant to alleviate a fear built up through advertising or it can be, in my opinion, putting you in a position of fear. On the topic of fear build up through advertising, Stenograph did this when it did its keyless drive. Gotta go keyless! Gotta buy the next thing! Gotta buy the new machine! We can all respect making money, but at a certain point, it’s just unnecessary oversaturation of the market. In terms of putting you in a position of fear, companies are doing it right now every day. They’re showing that they’re resolved to expand and switch to digital. They’re pressuring reporters to go digital, and conveniently buy their training and equipment. I think I’ve said this before, but if someone is scaring you, you might be getting propagandized.

Now You Know

When you start looking for these things, you will find them. We will all, one time or another, fall victim to propaganda. Sometimes it’s for a cause we really believe in. Sometimes it’s something we don’t really need in our lives. Sometimes it is the more comforting thing to allow ourselves to be propagandized.

Now, I should clarify, when I use these techniques, I do so for advancing truth and knowledge. All I have documented has been my honest perspective and recording. But in the end, people read and donate because it’s interesting, not because it’s honest. So if you catch me using some media tricks, it’s about keeping it interesting.

I’ve got some ideas in the oven! Get all your friends subscribed!

Lawsuit: U.S. Legal Support Managers Illegally Underpaid Commissions and Diverted Sales…

As reported by the New York Law Journal and Emily Saul, and shared by Paul Lucido publicly on LinkedIn, a suit has been filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the state’s highest trial court, alleging that U.S. Legal Support managers would game software to “underpay commissions owed to salespeople and divert sales to certain friends or favored coworkers.”

Executives are charged with creating a “fake employee” in order to illegally retain profits for themselves, reports Saul. It boils down to a claim that the founder, Charles Schugart, undermined Lucido’s earnings and lied about stock options. The claim further alleges that managers Amy Williamson and Carrie Cosenza would divert sales by gaming the HubSpot tracking software. It’s claimed that over $150,000 in commissionable revenue was lost, according to the report.

Lucido’s lawyer is quoted, in part, as saying “only discovery will reveal how widespread US Legal’s fraudulent practices were…” As of writing I could not locate the case on WebCivil Supreme, so I have no idea whether a Request for Judicial Intervention or Answer has been filed.

Needless to say, I emailed Emily Saul. We’ll see if anything comes of that.

This comes over a year after my public complaints that US Legal was part of a scheme to defraud jobseekers and consumers by supporting the Speech-to-Text Institute’s bogus claims that the stenographer shortage was impossible to solve, and the post where I revealed U.S. Legal Rep Peter Giammanco’s comment, “does it really matter if done legally and ethically…?” This is how these people think. They don’t care about ethics. They care about winning money.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) poking fun at how non-litigious our society really is when you call out corporate fraudsters.
Christopher Day (Stenonymous) poking fun at current events in court reporting.

That leads me to my next ask. If you disagree with the corporate fraud rampant in our field, please consider funding media like mine that supports exposing and purging it if you haven’t already. My donation box is right on the front page of Stenonymous.com. I can also receive Venmo @Stenonymous or PayPal at ChristopherDay227@gmail.com. I promise that once we’ve defeated the foul play, we can turn to what truly matters, enhancing stenographic education and expanding opportunities for stenographers. Serving the public through production of the legal record. How long do you think the shortage would last if a guy like me had a fraction of the money all these other players have? That’s what I bring to the table.

Alternatively, to the corporations of the STTI Bloc, you have a chance to buy the blog for $10 million. That way I get to ride off into the sunset and you get to continue your fraud completely unopposed by anybody with any kind of power in this business and the government. I feel bad selling out for so little, but I have to be realistic about the amount of work it’s taking to take you guys down with my current bank balance of $59.95. If you do buy it, I hope you will still consider the points I’ve made in the past about potential harm to minority speakers. I would never even do what I’m doing if not for that unexplored harm. Also, if you buy me out, consider making Joshua Edwards an offer on creating a corporate training arm for stenographers. With the right resources, he could revolutionize stenographic education and breathe new life into the realtime initiatives we have fought so hard for. We could train stenographers in sales, marketing, and steno, set them loose on the market, and watch them produce revenue streams that never existed before. EVERYONE wants to be heard. Who better to listen than your local stenographer? Even if it’s an upper middle class hobby, shouldn’t those dollars be captured, shouldn’t those voices be heard? If any of you care, my math says $360 an hour will obtain, retain, and retrain talent.

A posse ad esse. I can be a neoliberal too.

Justice for Craig Saunders Seeks Court Reporter Experts

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 justiceforcraigsaunders@gmail.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.

Videos: Corporate Fraudsters, Stenographers say “We’re Coming for Ya!”

“Anything more to say about this fraud and stuff that you’re trying to fight?” “We’re coming for ya!” Corporate fraud in the court reporter shortage continues… (Stenonymous)

On Sunday my best friend Joshua Edwards and I headed out to Washington Square Park to talk to the public a little bit about court reporting generally and the court reporting shortage fraud that is ongoing in our field. With help from several locals, we managed to secure footage of our time out and it’s my pleasure to share it now with court reporters across the country.

As I see it, there are two ways to combat shortage issues today. Either help bring attention to the blatant fraud ongoing or try to raise awareness about the profession at schools and other events. This was something of a hybrid where we made some noise about our issues and spent time educating the public on court reporting. I also used the event to solicit some donations.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) talking to the public about court reporting and court reporter shortage fraud.
Christopher Day at Washington Square Park to discuss court reporting and court reporter shortage fraud.

Just to prove that I’m really serious about supporting the stenographic legion, I may or may not have stood inside the fountain.

Christopher Day at Washington Square Park to talk to a bunch of chalk smiley faces about court reporting.

I mean, I even talked to the Garibaldi statue about court reporting.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) talks to the Garibaldi statue at Washington Square Park about court reporting.

I got to talk about the Racial Disparities in Automatic Speech Recognition study.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) discussing the Racial Disparities in Automatic Speech Recognition study.

I got to discuss digital recording and the two-month backlog that I published about on Saturday.

Christopher Day discusses a 2-month delay to digitally recorded transcripts.

Joshua Edwards, RDR, CRR, CRC, also got in on the action, letting members of the public know about Stenonymous and court reporting.

Joshua Edwards discusses court reporting and stenography with members of the public.
Joshua Edwards discusses court reporting and stenography with members of the public.

I made sure to let the public know that jobseekers are being misled into digital court reporting too.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) speaks about jobseekers being misled into digital court reporting.

“Certain forces are trying to get rid of the stenographer…” That’s what we got to tell people. And we made sure to get it on camera so that all of you can easily share it. We all see what’s happening in Indiana right now.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) and Joshua Edwards reveal there are forces trying to get rid of stenographers. We met a man who had a deposition because he was hit by a bulldozer. Medical transcription is also discussed.

I’d like to ask individuals and institutions to consider sending some funding to Stenonymous. I know many of you are busy people that cannot afford to take the time to dive into every last bit of my writing, research, and documentation over the last half decade. But clearly something is very wrong. The largest companies in our industry do not care enough about their brand to (a) attempt to convince me I’m wrong or (b) slap me with some kind of legal notice. Multimillion dollar corporations. Does it really seem off base to suggest that there might be antitrust issues here when some of the largest competitors in the field have syndicated behind a shell nonprofit to pump the market with misinformation?

If I’m right, then we should all be pretty concerned about having a marketplace where the government is inert while the largest players illegally bully the smaller court reporting providers into digital, which they’ve conveniently set up to have stakes in/relationships with, in terms of training and equipment vending.

If I’m wrong, then this is a very cruel field, because not one of you has tried to tell me I am wrong or pointed me to research that beats mine.

And if I’m right, then your money is pretty well spent on me. With the support of court reporters like you, we blew through the false media narrative of an “impossible” shortage. With more support we could afford to hire more writers, investigators, content creators, or even legal advocates. Who would like a filmed protest outside Veritext? Who’d like to have a media footprint that rivals other industries? Who’d like to push this issue until it can no longer be ignored? I’m the guy for the job. Help me out and I’ll bring allies to this field one by one.

A member of the public poses with Christopher Day (Stenonymous) in solidarity against corporate fraud.

Even if you choose not to throw any support my way, let this stand as a reminder that where there is injustice people can resist in small ways that lead to something greater. The name of the game is connecting with people, because if my time in Washington Square Park told me anything, it’s that they’re on our side.

Indiana’s Proposed Prohibition of Stenography and the Government’s Role in Court Reporting Economics

There is a proposed rule change for Indiana courts that seems to point to keeping stenographers out of the courtroom. Big thanks to Steno Strong and the stenographers that brought it to my attention. It’s pretty straightforward.

The Indiana government apparently seeks to purge stenography from court.

Much like Arizona, Indiana is asking for public comment. I’m feeling less dramatic than usual, so I gave it a shot.

Christopher Day (Stenonymous) responds to Indiana’s proposed purging of stenography from courts.

As I understand it, our institutions and many members of our community are already organizing a response. I would say get involved. Brainstorm on the best ways to phrase things or the right angle to go at this from. See if any attorney allies or anyone related to the legal field will pitch in a public comment. In my mind, it’s unquestionable that we have to give it to them straight. They’re handing an economic win to audio recording vendors. Once stenographic vendors are eliminated, price goes up. This is a concept so well understood that it’s part of the antitrust theory of predatory pricing. But there are probably dozens of arguments that I didn’t address that other stenographers can bring to the table more articulately.

This comes on the heels of the November 1, 2022 dissolution of the Indiana Court Reporters Association.

This is a convenient real-life example of how government impacts the demand for court reporters. They’re considering a rule change that would delete us from the courtrooms. They’re telegraphing a huge drop in court reporter demand. Is it any surprise that the market responds by training fewer court reporters? This is the deathblow I wrote about in 2018. How are we going to attract investors for stenographic education if a large purchaser of court reporting services, like the government, is saying “yeah, thanks for the memories?”

There were other comments far better than mine. Hopefully some of you will copy and paste yours below too.

We have to be assertive here. If not now, when? Again, public comments are open on the government site.

Litigant: He Took My Car and it Took Me Two Months to Get the Court Transcript

I had the opportunity to sit down with the transcript and audio of a small claims case and claimant Wayne G. Wilson. Throughout my time with Mr. Wilson, reviewing the audio, there were several areas where he felt colloquy and testimony was missing from the transcript. Using my general court reporting experience, I listened to the audio, and did not hear any cutaways that suggested tampering, but I am not a forensic audio expert, so take that for what it is. There were a number of off-the-record discussions, so it is possible that a situation arose that was believed to be on the record when it was actually off.

It’s a long small claims trial, 66 pages, so I think the best way to do this is to provide a brief summary, provide extra insight received from Mr. Wilson, reveal video from after the trial, present major errors, present minor errors, and then allow people to download the transcript. Before I begin, I’ll say that this is among the best digital transcripts I’ve seen (eScribers), and it points to the fact that digital can produce acceptable or close-to-acceptable transcripts. We have to grapple with the fact that stenographers make mistakes too, so I’ll try to be as fair as possible, and we’ll get through it. My first notable comment is that the $3.65 per page was charged for a 14-day turnaround according to a bill received by Stenonymous. It is notable that $3.65 is the expedited rate for New York transcripts according to Part 108.2 (b)(2)(ii). That section provides for 5 business days turnaround time. As far as I know from reading about small claims from various sources, and from my own small claims case years ago, the proceedings are recorded without an audio monitor (AAERT standard is to have a monitor) and outside vendors transcribe the matter. Succinctly, right from the start, it appears that litigants could be paying nearly 22% more for what would’ve been a stenographer’s “regular” delivery. But while the bill states 14 days, Wilson states the transcript took months to be prepared, lending credibility to reports that transcription can take much longer than stenographic court reporting.

The case is fairly simple. Mr. Wilson alleges that he brought his car to a body shop or auto business, captioned as Mike’s Roadway Collision Experts, Inc., apparently A/K/A Roadway Towing and Auto Repair. The trial took place on September 23, 2022. He wanted the car painted and serviced. According to the testimony, a verbal estimate of $1,500 or $1,800 was provided and a $500 deposit was paid. From the transcript of the proceedings, the deposit was paid on June 2, 2021, and an agreement was made that the car would be done in two weeks. Events unfolded and the shop allegedly needed more time. Wilson claims that in July he walked into the facility and saw journeymen working on the car, but rubber seals were ripped off or damaged and the interior was ripped “with reckless abandon.” Wilson further explains that he had another car in Nebraska and that he would part it and fix up the car at Roadway Towing. Ultimately, defendant representative Michael Morales states in the transcript that the initial price was $2,500, that extra repairs brought the price up to $4,500, and that the price was subsequently dropped to $3,500 or $3,000. A lien was put on the car and the dispute is ongoing. Wilson has stated he does not know how a lien was put on the car because he was never served.

Wilson has several complaints about missing information in the transcript. He remembers a discussion where the defendant representative, Michael Morales, said he didn’t know anything about the carpet, and remembers an exchange where the judge questioned further about this event, allegedly stating “you said you didn’t know… [about the carpet].” This appears nowhere in the transcript or audio that I reviewed and leads Wilson to believe that there is missing information thanks to the digitally recorded proceeding.

There were some comments on the record about the car being a rust bucket. Claimant says the car wasn’t rusted. Claimant says there was confusion at the proceeding where the car in Nebraska was mistaken for the car in New York, and that it was the car in Nebraska with some rust under the fenders, which were taken off. This goes to show that even where a transcript is decent, there can be unclear points of testimony or colloquy that make litigants question the process. Hopefully it encourages us all to do our best to ensure accurate records and increase litigant confidence.

Wayne Wilson points to page 31 in the transcript as evidence that defendant is being untruthful, stating “there was no insurance. Couldn’t put insurance because I had no license or registration. There was no accident and no reason for insurance to be taken out on the car.”

In videos obtained by Stenonymous, Mr. Wilson and an unidentified cameraman apparently confront Mr. Morales, with Mr. Wilson stating “you said the car is $1800, and I just want my car, to pay whatever I need to pay to get my possessions, bro.” Mr. Morales appears to be calling the police while being filmed, and can be heard stating “…he disturbs my shop every time he comes here. I cannot trust him, I don’t know if he has any weapons…” Mr. Morales makes it clear during the video that the matter is pending in court. Later in the video, Morales states during the event “everything was done on the car…” “…and you don’t want to pay! Now you lost the car.” He continues “you’re not getting the car until you pay me all my fees.” Wilson retorts “what’s the money?” Morales comes back “I’m not discussing anything with you.” When the unidentified cameraman says “so you stole the car,” Morales replies “yes, I stole it. That’s what you say.” Eventually the altercation devolves into Wilson yelling “how much money do you want to claim now?” Both men accuse the other of being a “liar” and “clown.” At the end of the videos, Mr. Morales is seen taking out several pictures, stating “film that, this is the car.” An abrupt end followed.

A copy of the video is viewable here.

Wilson says he’s been “baited” by Morales in the past. Asked for comments by mail, Michael Morales did not respond as of publishing.

Regardless of the merits of the dispute, at the end of the small claims case the judge noted that the case was dismissed without prejudice pending action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Major Errors:
1. Page 33, Line 19, “your” should be “the.” I count this as major to the extent it could be used for impeachment in a future proceeding where the insurance issue becomes relevant. If not, minor error.
2. Page 41, Line 6, “have” should be “had.” To the extent a reader might be confused between the past and present state of the car, this can be nothing or it can be an issue.
3. Page 41, Line 7, there’s an unidentified speaker. This isn’t the transcriber’s fault, but it shows the problem with recordings. There will naturally be responses and designations that are best recorded in person, right there on the spot.
4. Page 48, Line 14, Mr. Wilson is designated but Mr. Morales was speaking. Stenographers can make this error too, but I do consider it to be major in that it can confuse a reader.
5. Page 49, Line 1, Mr. Wilson is designated but Mr. Morales was speaking.
6. Page 55, Line 9 and Line 10, “And then, *if* he — he shipped the car from Ohio. He wants me to pay for that? When I had — that was way before I even — ” Missing the “if” and the question mark does seem to change context here in a way that could matter in the future.

Minor Errors:
1. Page 3, Line 10, the word “right” is missing from “raise your right hands.”
2. Page 6, Line 2, an inaudible where no crucial information appears to be lost.
3. Page 9, Line 2, ’89 Volkswagen Cabriolet is missing its apostrophe.
4. Page 12, Line 20, the judge’s comments are omitted without an “off the record” and there is an inaudible.
5. Page 14, Line 14, an inaudible.
6. Page 15, Line 25, a period is missing between “of” and “minus.”
7. Page 16, Line 24, the word “every” should be “ever.”
8. Page 19, Line 13, the word “my” is omitted before “windshield.”
9. Page 19, Line 15, possible “style difference” rather than error. Quotes can go on what was said, but this is debated in our field.
10. Page 19, Line 16, a question mark is missing after “windshield.”
11. Page 20, Line 24, Morales appears to say “no, no” rather than “no.”
12. Page 21, Line 8. There is a small pause where Wilson believes there may be something missing. I did not hear a significant change in the background noise to indicate a skip.
13. Page 22, Line 19, “brought” should be “bought.” Wilson feels this changes the context of the answer.
14. Page 25, Line 8, “are” should be “care.”
15. Page 27, Line 14, “for” should be “to.”
16. Page 32, Line 2, “would’ve” should be “would.”
17. Page 33, Line 8, I do not believe a comma should go after “and now.”
18. Page 35, Line 2, missing a question mark.
19. Page 38, Line 19, Wilson believes they discussed the exhibits and it does not appear on the record.
20. Page 39, Line 4, “message” should be “messages.”
21. Page 40, Line 17, Wilson claims the judge said “nice picture” or “she’s hot,” and it’s not reflected in the audio or transcript. He points to this as evidence that other things could be missing.
22. Page 41, Line 13, only one “in.”
23. Page 42, Line 19, “under our” should be “under article — “.
24. Page 43, Line 9, it should be “and had shipped.”
25. Page 43, Line 10, it should say “about the car.”
26. Page 45, Line 14, inaudible. It should say “tip.”
27. Page 45, Line 18, inaudible. It should say “change.”
28. Page 46, Line 3, there’s an off-the-record discussion with no indication from the judge that they’re off record, though this may just be standard small claims practice. I don’t know because my experience with small claims is mostly limited to a case I had against State Senator Jesse Hamilton several years ago.
29. Page 46, Line 5, “he bring” should be “he brang.” This is a verbatim nitpick.
30. Page 46, Line 17, there’s a random apostrophe at the end that should be deleted.
31. Page 47, Line 8, missing comma between “Nebraska” and “not.”
32. Page 52, Line 7, missing a question mark.
33. Page 52, Line 16, Wilson recalls the judge stating that Morales “lacks candor.” This does not appear in the transcript or audio.
34. Page 56, Line 15, “judgement” should arguably be “judgment,” but this may be a style choice.
35. Page 59, Line 8, missing a comma between “again” and “whatever.”
36. Page 59, Line 13, missing a period.
37. Page 60, Line 18, inaudible. Likely should’ve been “Maspeth.”
38. Page 62, Line 7, “judgment.” Style choice.

The invoice and transcript are available to download below.

If anybody’s still with me, this is an interesting moment for me. I am 100% for the aggressive expansion of stenography. I believe that given enough time and resources, we could do absolutely phenomenal things with court record access across the country. I will likely spend the rest of my professional career, as a stenographer at least, advocating for working reporters and looking for opportunities to bring investors to steno. But honestly, if every transcript was this good, I wouldn’t have such strong feelings about digital quality degradation from the standpoint of the people transcribing. By my review, this seems like a transcript that got adequate attention from its transcriber and proofreader. But there are inherent problems with digital recording from a time and efficiency standpoint. Two months to get a transcript is too long, excluding jurisdictional exceptions. I’d say the same with stenographers that are excessively late on their work, up to and including the times I’ve been late on my own work. We also lose words to inaudibles by doing it digitally. Luckily, no inaudible here seemed critical. Then on the efficiency angle, we’re inputting stuff at 225 WPM and cleaning it up after. They have to painstakingly transcribe, with transcription speeds generally ranging between 50 and 100 WPM. The stress on the wrists alone points to stenography being better for society.

What does the audience think?