Stenonymous Source: The Actual Per-Page Rate Comes To $9.44…

Stenonymous (anonymous) source provides redacted Imagine Reporting invoice.

Anonymous: “Imagine Reporting in San Diego was recently acquired by Lexitas – one of the latest monopolization/consolidation moves here in CA, hence the Dallas address on the invoice. The result? They bumped up the prices. The actual per page rate comes to $9.44/pp for this 143 page transcript, after factoring in all the add-ons. I wonder how much $/pp they paid the reporter…”

I have to point back to my research about tacit parallelism. Even where competitors are not actively colluding, they see that they can jack up the prices because everybody is jacking up the prices. I don’t believe that Lexitas or Imagine was a part of the Speech-to-Text Institute or the market manipulation there. But we’re seeing how the continued consolidation of the field is leading toward very high prices for attorneys. It seems page rates are being kept artificially low and some of these companies are relying on the add-ons and surcharges to make a buck. It’s pretty smart, since it can almost double revenue.

Just to drive this home — and I get it, I’m in a different state — reporters in New York City are 30 years behind inflation. If their rates had kept up with inflation, the rate would be around $6.00 per page. That’s on our automatic O+2s . Now, to put this into perspective, reporters aren’t generally making $6.00, and though I’m overjoyed when people come out of the woodwork to say they make more than that, I hate to tell you that you’re in the deep minority. When I came out of school I was offered $2.80 (2010). Many of my classmates were offered $3.25 and that was considered a good rate. Last year I had at least one person report that they were still being offered $3.25. Some say they’ve gotten $4.00. Some say they’ve gotten $4.50. Nowhere near $6.00.

And again, with all the add-ons, we’re looking at a charge of $9.44 or $9.46, so it’s basically taking what reporters should be paid, adding 60%, and sending out a bill. That’s in the context of a profession where previously there were 70-30 splits in favor of reporters. Then we look at what reporters are being paid, and just to be nice, we’ll take the $4.50. $9.46 – $4.50. $4.96. That $4.96 is 110% of the $4.50. And now just to complete the thought, $9.46 – $3.25. $6.21. 191% of the $3.25 attorneys might pay if we just cut out the middleman — or at least the middlemen charging high.

The skeptic says: So what? You’re New York. This is California — or Texas — or wherever. To that I say if there was a genuine shortage on the scale that it was advertised as being, agencies would simply be pulling New Yorkers to go certify, license, and work. And this can be mathematically shown. If the rate for New Yorkers should be close to 6 and is actually 4.50 (we’ll cut out the 3.25s and 2.80s and pretend everyone’s getting a decent O+2). 6 – 4.50 = $1.50. We’re talking about a 33% raise for some of the best-paid people and more than doubling the income of kids who get out of school and accept $2.80 a page because they just don’t know any better. And that $6.00 is still a heck of a lot lower than the $9.44. Even if we went back to the 70-30 splits with $6.00 to the reporter, it’d be around $8.58 a page. This also doesn’t account for places where the cost of living is lower than New York City, which would effectively be an even higher raise. Again, these business folks are all about numbers and money. If there was a monumental shortage rather than a desire to depress court reporter incomes, they’d be easily pulling people in with raises or a lower cost of living — unless everywhere in the whole entire country is as underpaid as New York City, which seems unlikely. They were paying us 25 cents on copies while Ohio was getting 2 bucks.

So thank you to my Stenonymous source. You not only helped me show my audience the heavy cost of court reporting add-ons potentially doubling attorney bills, but also help bring out the fact that the shortage that was advertised (70% of the field vanishing by about 2033) is not the shortage we got (coverage issues in the California courts that refused to use money earmarked for enticing court reporters),

The rest is up to the people that share this article and keep attorneys and court reporters informed.

Stenographer Shortage? Not On My Watch! Stenofluencer Ad Launches… Will You Stand With Us?

The Stenonymous ad campaign with Stenofluencer launched quietly last night. Thank you to everyone that took the time to like and share. See below for how you can help.

Stenonymous Ad Campaign with Stenofluencer

I believe this can be part of a larger series with help from readers like you. Any money sent to Stenonymous during the lifetime of this ad campaign (until September 11, 2023), will be designated toward developing and running more advertising to reduce the shortage. Stenonymous has put out tons of information with regard to advertising metrics and the fact that solvable localized shortages were painted as an unsolvable national problem. Up until now, a lot of my advertising was aimed at attorneys to educate them on the issues we’re facing in the field. But the objective of solving the localized shortages still remains. For an example of how this plays out in the real world, I know for a fact that right now the Bronx is hurting for court reporters more than any other borough in New York City. Meanwhile, at least one freelancer in the private sector reported they were told there were too many reporters and not enough work. So even in individual cities, we’re seeing uneven shortage impacts.

Please consider donating to Stenonymous today to end localized shortages. Based on this ad’s current stats, I expect it will cost $150 per 1,000 engagements, $30 per 1,000 impressions. With the help and support of people like you, I believe we can bring those numbers down to half of what they are today. To put these numbers into perspective, about $30,000 would get the ad in front of a million people, and about $150,000 would get a million people to like or share it if progress is linear. $30,000 is more or less the equivalent of every court reporter throwing down a dollar. We don’t need that kind of money to make an impact, but raising more money will make a bigger impact than the one I will make by myself. If you donate, please email in or comment below what geographical area(s) you feel need the most advertising, as it will help us improve audience targeting on future ads.

Stenonymous can be sent money through PayPal or Zelle (, Venmo @Stenonymous, the donation box at the front page of, or the special donation box I’m setting up below. Even if you cannot contribute any amount of money, please share this on social media so that it can get in front of the people that can.

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Due to an oversight on my end about how Facebook presents information, I mistakenly believed the Cost Per Mille was lower than it currently is. I will have more accurate data and an explanation by the end of the campaign. The overall principle still stands that community support will make or break this campaign.

Stenographer: The Shortage is Not What Was Forecasted.

Cassandra Caldarella reached out to me a while ago with some information about California. Given my relative lack of familiarity with California’s court reporting laws and statistics, the interaction was very welcome. I’ve said it many times, but I would be nowhere without information sent in by readers.

The first thing I was told was that in 2013 there were 7,100 active CSRs in California and that there are now 6,580 CSRs in 2023, a loss of 520, or about 8%. A loss of about 50 per year, or 0.7% of that 7,100 total. The Ducker Report told us something like 70% of reporters would be retiring between 2013 and 2023, so about 2.3% a year. 4.67% per year if you count from 2018, when the shortage was supposed to start getting bad. What does all this mean? The California shortage may be half as bad as it was forecasted to be.

An explanation of CSR license numbers from Cassandra Caldarella.

We can pull straight from Ducker to confirm something is off.

Ducker Report, Forecasted Supply for CA in 2018, 6,110.

There was a 6,110 supply of stenographers forecasted in 2018, and it was supposed to get worse and worse every year until 2018. If it is accurate that there are now 6,580, then we are doing much better than the forecast.

Cassandra went on to explain that these were not straight losses and that there were a lot of new CSRs coming in.

I was then given a yearly breakdown of out-of-state CA CSR licensees. The average before COVID was about 10 per year. 2020 to 2023, that jumps to about 16.

Out-of-state California CSR licenares per year according to Cassandra Caldarella.

I did go snooping for these numbers, because I don’t like to publish without some fact checking, and I did find at least one piece of information from SB662 that seems to contradict or call into question these numbers.

2022, 5,605 CSRs according to SB662 bill text. 4.,829 listed an address in California. 8,004 in 2000. 7,503 in 2010. 6,085 in 2020.

That’s a much more grim outlook. But perhaps it’s just market forces at work? Unless 30% of the workforce has been replaced by digital, it means that the demand for court reporters is simply lower than it once was or that there was not enough demand in the market for those 8,004 CSRs. A lot of people believe in the self-correction of markets. Why is our labor market any different? We could blame it on government regulation. Then again, we could also blame it on the larger corporations that stood by and did basically nothing for half a decade. If there was a retirement cliff, they sure weren’t worried about it, and I think that says a lot.

Let’s work with the most relevant numbers presented here. 7,503 in 2010. 1,418 drop from 2010 to 2020. A loss of about 19%, 1.7% a year. Still below the 2.3% to 4.7% it was supposed to be, but not quite as rosy as the 0.7% figure I was hoping for.

I’d really like to get the discussion going here. Are there more accurate direct sources I’ve missed? Has anybody run these numbers and come up with similar results? Have I gotten something completely wrong?

The comments are open.


Some edits were done to the images and text in this post after it went live. Subsequently, I was sent a spreadsheet that purports to show about 6,849 California CSRs active as of May 10, 2023. So, after seeing that, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that we are in much better shape than was forecasted.

NCRA Admits Court Reporter Shortage Less Severe Than Forecasted?

In a May 5, 2023 article by Tracey Read, issues with recording were addressed. Interestingly to me, there was a blurb in there about our shortage.

In a 2023 article, it is stated that according to NCRA there is -currently- a shortage of 5,500 court reporters.

You might look at that and say, “so what?”

Remember those Speech-to-Text Institute folks that I call frauds? Well, let’s just take a look at this screenshot from what I just linked.

In a projection released by the Speech-to-Text Institute years before 2023, it was stated that there would be a
gap (shortage) of 11,345 court reporters in 2023. A number that is potentially double the actual shortage.

On May 6, 2023, I reached out to NCRA to find out if this article was accurate, and I will publish the response, if any, in an addendum at the bottom of this post. If there’s no addendum, assume no response yet. I’d say check back in a week. As of now, all I’ve been told is “let us check and see where this might have come from, if anywhere, Christopher. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.”

Hopefully this makes it pretty clear why I’ve been so stuck on this issue. A shortage of 11,345 is a lot different than a shortage of 5,500, and now we have in print two very different numbers for 2023.

It seems pretty clear to me that our shortage is less severe than was forecasted, which means that it is more manageable than we have been told for about 5 years, which means that the big boxes in the Speech-to-Text Institute Bloc, having as much market share and working with as many reporters as they do, knew for a fact that the shortage was not as bad as forecasted, and perpetuated the lie anyway.

It’s bittersweet for me. I have been writing about the possibility of false claims being used to demoralize stenographers for almost half a decade, maybe longer. Many who have examined my writing and documentation over the years agree that there is something suspicious going on in stenography land. But many don’t have the time to investigate years worth of chronological discoveries and analyses. And quite frankly, after my medical issues in late 2021, it was easier for some to dismiss me entirely than to believe that such misconduct was occurring in our field.

But this should give stenographers a lot of hope. The shortage is less severe than forecasted. The NCRA is indisputably the strongest court reporting association and in the best position to address the court reporter shortage to the extent that it does exist. And as word spreads that the situation is not hopeless, as so many shills would have had my colleagues believe, we have a chance at drawing in investors to create new and better schools, and expand and improve existing programs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Should it turn out that this is not NCRA’s position, my past analyses about the shortage being less severe than forecasted stand. But then this shifts to a really good point: News media can make game-changing statements and be completely wrong. If we’re not funding our own media arm, we may very well be drowned by lies and incompetence. That’s the state of modern journalism. As industries grow bigger, more complex, and require more coverage, journalism is seeing an economic contraction and nearly a 10% reduction in jobs between now and 2031. Fewer journalists covering more news means we’d better start hiring some journalists if we want a fair shake. Oh, and the other side has probably been doing that for years, let’s not forget that part.

I leave my core audience with a poem.










NCRA President Jason Meadors responded to my initial May 6 inquiry on May 12, 2023.

“Chris, mystery solved. That was lifted from the Ducker Report, which was before my time and has been pretty well debunked now.”

A big thanks to NCRA for the transparency and honesty.

Proof The Court Reporter Shortage is A Digital Court Reporting Advertisement

I was sent this by a contact over social media. It’s labeled as an advertorial. And that alone gives us enough to pick it apart and figure out what it’s selling. It’s written by Christy Pratt, VP of Veritext Canada.

Veritext releases advertorial about the court reporting shortage, strengthening Stenonymous arguments that the court reporter shortage is being exaggerated and exacerbated to artificially increase demand for digital court reporting.

It goes a little into the history of reporting to give the rest of the piece some credibility. I have no problem with that. But then it gets to its main sell: The shortage is real and times are changing! Hey everybody! Did you know times change? You can trust the rest of the advertorial because the author is making perfect sense up to this point.

Veritext advertorial showcasing that the shortage is being used as a selling point for digital court reporting.

Remember, this is posted to Trial Lawyers of BC. It’s clear who the audience is. They don’t want lawyers to complain about the transition from steno to digital, where the author admits steno is still in heavy use. They want to paint digital as the solution. It’s much easier to tell someone what they want is not available instead of telling them you don’t want to give it to them. It’s a lie to limit consumer choice.

It’s worth noting that the shortage isn’t as bad as it was forecasted to be in America and that the Speech-to-Text Institute’s Jim Cudahy left the field when I accused him of fraud for spreading court reporter shortage disinformation. It’s also worth noting that Veritext is represented in the Speech-to-Text Institute’s leadership by Adam Friend, VP of business development, and has not made any attempt to correct the misleading information put out onto the market by STTI. Misleading information that threatens the futures of ourselves and our students, by the way. Does anyone believe that Veritext, a multimillion dollar corporation that benefits financially from the expansion of digital, would not spread the same lies in Canada?

I’ve had people lie to me over $5. When the future direction of an industry is at stake, does anyone believe this isn’t fabricated? And I’m sure I have a detractor or two who would point at me and say the same, but let’s be real, in my wildest dreams Stenonymous makes me maybe a million dollars someday because some rich person realizes how much fun it would be to set me loose on the world or Veritext realizes my creative genius can be bought (in reality, I lose money on my media activities, even with the support of my wonderful audience.) This industry is close to $3 billion annually by estimates I’ve seen. Who has a greater incentive to lie? And it’s not like they can claim they don’t know about my research now. They’re basically using my arguments on AI to make the case for why court reporters won’t be replaced. I’ve basically never had better proof that Veritext execs read the blog and understand at least part of my work.

To make matters worse, a source inside a big box is saying the nickel and diming of stenographers is getting worse despite the alleged demand. If they’re chipping away at the incomes of high-end realtime reporters, the average reporter isn’t going to stand a chance.

Reporters, organize and resist or be ruled by people that don’t care if you have a good life. That’s all there is to it. I know my methods come off as extreme, but it’s an extraordinary case where an entire profession is threatened with extinction based on a lie. It’s a classic what-would-you-do scenario, and I’d like to think that if every reporter had the same statistics and information that I have seen and published, they’d be just as outraged. They’d fight just as hard, and maybe harder.

I’ll continue my quest to slay the windmills. Wish me luck.

Video: Joshua Edwards’s Tribute to Dom Tursi

The passing of Dom Tursi has been rough on all who knew him. The Washington Court Reporters Association held a memorial on April 15, 2023 at the time when Dom had been scheduled to speak. Family and friends of Dom Tursi were allowed to join virtually. I was very honored that my interview with Dom was played for all present and we got to hear his wise words and inspiring insights once more.

Now Joshua Edwards, my best friend and someone who was quite close to Dom, has released a video tribute to Mr. Tursi. It discusses the Cicero Forum and ends with a beautiful musical tribute. This is something that everyone should see.

If you have your own tribute, please feel free to comment here with it. We can all join together and remember him.

Video Released In Memory of Dom Tursi

Dom Tursi, one of New York’s most beloved and well-known court reporters and mastermind behind the Gallery of Shorthand, has passed away. I had the privilege of sitting down to talk to him in 2021 during a recorded interview, but it was never released. I’m now releasing it so that all reporters may get to hear Dom speak and remember this man that loved our field so much.

It’s tough for me. When I was a young reporter and didn’t know anybody, I got taken advantage of. I reached out to a few people for help and guidance, and he was one of the people that helped me forward, helped me maintain hope, and ultimately changed my mind about leaving the field. I am a court reporter today in part because of him. Thank you, Dom. You will be missed.

The video of the interview I have with Dom is hosted on my YouTube.

Stenograph’s Attack on Stenographers in Illinois…

I’ve obtained a letter from Luke Casson of the Illinois Electronic Court Reporters Association and Anir Dutta from Stenograph. Along with these materials came some Speech-to-Text Institute materials.

Speech-to-Text Institute, as we know, is the nonprofit that lied when it said the court reporter shortage was irreversible. It used an outdated report to make its case, and its frontman, Jim Cudahy, left the field after I called him out on his fraud. STTI has several companies represented in its leadership, including The RecordXchange, Stenograph, Trans-Atlantic International Depositions, Planet Depos, Veritext, U.S. Legal Support, Neal R. Gross and Company, vTestify, Verbit, Kentuckiana, Tri-C Community College, RevolutionaryText, and For the Record. When I refer to the STTI Bloc, this is what I’m talking about. They used STTI to pump the market with misinformation, and as you’re about to see, they ride off those lies to push digital court reporting to policy makers and fellow court reporters.

If you look at those links above you’ll see that I’ve been on this since day 1. Court reporters can trust me to fight for them.

On that note, I think the best way to do this is to present each piece and then present my take on it. I’ll try not to nitpick too much and just bring out primary points.

I’ll be really fair here. He’s got a mission and he’s sticking to it, and that’s fair game. But I would say the idea that adding digital to the pool will not decrease the number of stenographer jobs is a lie. There is a total market. More of that market being covered by digital necessitates fewer available stenographic jobs. The idea that digital reporting is the preferred modality is also heavily in dispute. We literally call stenography the gold standard and even ChatGPT knows it.

Lies spread by the Speech-to-Text Institute used to support digital in Illinois

For the STTI materials, it’s 100% certain to exacerbate because the STTI Bloc has used all of its money and influence to grow digital over steno while lying to court reporters and the public. The number of stenographers shrinking in Illinois is pulled straight from Ducker’s “70% will retire before 2033” statement. There is basically zero chance that the report, which is a decade old, reliably predicted the future with 100% accuracy. Fewer than 1 in 10 become court reporters. I’ll concede that we say this a lot, but has anybody run the actual numbers with any consistency, or is it kind of like Ducker where we got some information once and then trusted that forever and ever? I have the same issue with stating the number of stenography students. It completely discounts the self-taught — and I personally know self-taught court reporters. It’s all fluff to suit an agenda. I no longer feel bad about calling it what it is. Nobody from that side of the equation has ever defended their inexcusable antisocial behavior. They simply pretend I don’t exist, because my existence is inconvenient to their agenda.

Stenograph supporting digital in Illinois
Stenograph supporting digital in Illinois

Stenograph claims to have 80% market share, and then claims that at least 20,000 use their software. That would put the number of stenographers at at least 25,000. That means Stenograph knows for a fact that STTI was wrong, since there were only supposed to be 23,000 of us as of 2023. Again, the idea that this will add additional jobs is laughable, it will only move market share to digital, which Stenograph has positioned itself to profit from. They also lie about New York, where voice writing is not accepted for civil service positions. Neither is digital. Anir writes well, and I admire his ability to stick to a story. Perhaps seeing this in print will lead people to realize why I was so down on Stenograph as an entity, but not its employees or trainers. As a company, they’re not doing right by us. Everybody else is just caught in the crossfire of that. But the company relies on you being the bigger person and letting it go. “It’s just business,” they say, as they twist the knife just a few more times.

Speech-to-Text Institute Propaganda that the shortage was impossible to solve with stenography only. Stenograph’s admission to 80% market share invalidates this number (2023)
Stenograph ad proclaiming support for stenographers.
Stenonymous remarking that Stenograph is part of the STTI Bloc, a group of corporations that got together to sell digital using misleading arguments and bad statistics.

The math from my last ad report was very clear. Using my current media knowledge, we could probably reach/engage over a million people for about $30,000. I can’t lay that out by myself right now, but it should put into perspective why I keep asking for money. It makes a difference.

Stenonymous advertisement warning consumers that the government is not protecting them when it comes to court reporting.
Stenonymous ad costs $0.04 per engagement, down from $1.00 per engagement on some old projects.

But as always, I leave it in the hands of my colleagues. Do we continue to wait and see what happens, or do we get serious about funding the only industry blog dedicated to purging corruption from the field? Regardless of the choice, reporters can count on me to continue being truthful.

And to give some good entertainment in the process.

Stenonymous poked fun at the STTI Bloc’s persistence with regard to digital court reporting v steno.

Song: I’m in Love with the Court Reporter

Funniest song you’ll hear all day, sent to me by a friend and mentor. I later learned it was also posted by the best union president I know.

This is for all the court reporters that have been asked out by somebody on your case. I have to highly recommend it for the laughs and the surprise twist at the end. I find this very creative. Good delivery.

I’m In Love with the Court Reporter by alanmessing YouTube channel.

I’m planning to start a monthly media blast where we all share the different things we’re watching/listening to related to the field. So keep eyes out for that at the beginning of March. Enjoy!


I was sent this song by a reader. It’s from Stenoholics!!! A must listen!