In short, it seems Planet Depos is making an effort to expand its New York stenographer base.
I’ve been pretty down on the company in the past and lumped them right in with the Speech-to-Text Institute’s other deceitful, fraudulent players. Hopefully everybody reading can appreciate me saying that if Planet Depos New York is going to treat you right, reach out and grab a spot. But remember that they have access to all the economic data you do and more when you’re negotiating. Don’t let anyone pressure you into selling yourself short.
As always, hopeful that some of these executives have taken the time to look at some of the information published and realized that there’s just no replacement for a culture and society of excellence. We sharpen our recruits so that they do great work with your company. Today’s students are 100x smarter than I was at their stage of the game and that’s a mere 15-year gap in education. A company that recognizes that and capitalizes on it, say, for example, by instituting company-wide sales training and bonus incentives for stenographers, is going to generate much more revenue than a company that’s trying to nickel and dime its reporters. It’s a collaborative experience with your employees and independent contractors where everyone grows together rather than an adversarial one where you’re constantly trying to outsmart your own workforce. Kinda weird that the adversarial lampoon website needs to tell the collaborative big business geniuses that, but that’s okay, I’m weird too.
Good campaign. Really caught my eye. Hoping it’s not just eye candy. The last thing I want to point out is to be careful with that whole “perks to partnering” section. There are some reporters that would find those not to be perks or even standard with the job at this point in history. It could put off some of your highest-performing prospects, because those are the ones that have the highest standards for working with you. It is a quirk of human psychology and pretty much the same reason your organization doesn’t pay me to write for it (hint: it’s insulting).
PS. I do actually think you business types are geniuses, small businesses included. But unfortunately the direction things were headed in was putting years of my mentorship and work at risk based on a lie.
This is a timeline of events I wrote out for another project. It presents a snapshot of what I have documented over the years and links many blog posts to form what I feel is the bulk of the story.
Perhaps it will help supporters to have a single document like this. Perhaps it’ll help those who get lost trying to navigate the site and understand the issues. Perhaps it’ll sit on the internet collecting internet dust. Whatever the case, just know that I appreciate every single one of you for spreading the word and sending me information. It has made all of this possible.
Summary of Fraud:
The basic idea is that these multimillion dollar corps (Veritext, US Legal, etc) got together under the nonprofit Speech-to-Text Institute to claim the stenographer shortage was impossible to solve and artificially increase digital demand, which they all then benefit from. Stenograph was also a part of STTI, as its president, Anir Dutta, was vice president of the STTI. While making these claims through STTI, many of the companies were representing to attorneys and the public that they couldn’t find stenographers. Meanwhile, they weren’t using basic methods to find stenographers, like Sourcebook / PRO Link, a national directory of stenographers. Jim Cudahy is instrumental in getting the shortage forecasted via NCRA, then he turns around and weaponizes it against us years later before I declare him a fraud and he runs off to another association about a year before the STTI gets sued and takes down its site.
Timeline of Documentation:
2013 – The Court Reporting Industry Outlook 2013-2014 is created by Ducker Worldwide for the National Court Reporters Association. Jim Cudahy is Executive Director of NCRA at this point and instrumental in getting the shortage forecasted. Notably, California’s shortage is forecasted to be 5x to 20x worse than any other state.
2014-2018 – Initiatives such as NCRA A to Z, Project Steno, and Open Steno boost stenographic recruitment and public awareness of steno. Jim Cudahy is replaced as Executive Director during this time period and goes on to do whatever he does (7 MARCOM, I think). All of the companies in question were incredibly quiet, considering there was allegedly an impending shortage of doom.
2018 – At this point, the field didn’t even believe the larger companies were using digital court reporting. I know this because it surprised people when I published about it. Around this time, companies also began advertising huge bonuses with jobs to get court reporters to cover in California, lending some credibility to shortage concerns.
2019 – Veritext begins propagandizing lawyers to get them to change their deposition notices and allow for digital court reporting. US Legal Support buys and later kills StenoTrain, which was run by Patricia Falls (court reporting educator that is now all about digital.) At this point in history, companies were trying to get digital court reporters seen as just court reporters. We began differentiating ourselves as stenographers. Remote reporting comes up as a potential fix for shortage woes.
Veritext VP Gina Hardin writes a piece about digital reporting changing the landscape of reporting. After big social media buzz, she’s allegedly fired. Veritext makes it out like she did this of her own choice rather than following the direction of the company. Veritext makes the public statement that stenography is the life-blood of our industry and that of Veritext.
2021 – Veritext makes a statement to Stenonymous that technology will not take the place of the reporter. I begin to realize the Ducker Report was flawed. I get my hands on an email from US Legal Rep Peter Giammanco where he puts IN WRITING “does it really matter if done legally and ethically…[if both products are the same.]” I document some of the materials that companies are using to promote digital and note the scarcity of pro-stenographer material. I note that BLS statistics appear inaccurate and don’t match up with NCRA’s statistics. STTI, U.S. Legal, and Veritext all use a flimsy game of numbers to continue to push the propaganda the shortage is impossible to solve.
At this point the switch is flipped and I start poking holes in STTI materials.
A website using stenography images to lure people into digital court reporting is found. When I alert ESYOH to the fraud, they take parts of it down.
BlueLedge Digital Court Reporter training is linked to Veritext – the full extent of the relationship is unknown. And Stenograph is definitely in on making money off of digital court reporting and part of STTI. Interestingly, a Veritext company appeared to share an office with BlueLedge. Stenograph’s stenographer support also took a massive dip during this time period. Even NCRA notes there may be illegal conduct coming from digital land.
It’s also noted that Veritext ran a training for NYPTI prosecutors (prosecutors often go into civil lit, Veritext’s domain). They made it seem like stenography was old and outdated despite modern computerization. Basically eliminating us in attorneys’ minds through education.
At this point in history, I declared Jim Cudahy a fraud for his part in advancing STTI’s agenda.
2023 – Veritext subsidiary is discovered to have purged popular stenographer anecdote. Indiana proposes a ban on stenography in its courts. A lawsuit emerges claiming USL stole commissionable income from one of its executives, in my view strengthening the case that they’d commit illegal acts. Veritext goes after a court reporter for something they wrote on Facebook after ignoring my claims for over a year (well beyond the statute of limitations for defamation at this point.)
A lawsuit is filed against the Speech-to-Text Institute for anticompetitive behavior and the STTI takes its site off the web.
Anir Dutta calls me intellectually challenged, and when this is discovered, he apologizes. The situation causes an uproar in its customer base that results in a Town Hall Meeting with customers where Mr. Dutta stated he was no longer affiliated with the STTI organization.
That’s the story so far. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But I beg you to look at the inertia of the companies for half a decade prior to the shortage compared to their aggressive expansion of digital thereafter, as well as the flip flopping by Veritext that points to a very real intent to deceive.
2. Correction to the original article which accidentally said Jim Cudahy changed associations months before STTI took down its site. In fact it was more like a year. This confusion was a 2022/2023 typo in my notes.
As of August 2023:
I scraped the old STTI leadership off the Wayback Machine so that people can see what I’m saying when I talk about the STTI Bloc or the companies behind the organization.
John Barber and Jeff Ranen left Lewis Brisbois to start their own firm, taking over 100 colleagues with them. Lewis Brisbois management subsequently released their emails to get back at them, where they referred to females using the c word, called a judge sugar tits, and generally wrote a lot of stuff you shouldn’t write in email using their work emails. The fallout is so severe that Alex Su tweeted about it and several of the defectors from Lewis Brisbois have asked for their job back.
First, I’ll just put it out there, interesting that corporate fraud is not newsworthy but emails that some assholes wrote is. Maybe we should just trick the media into reporting on this stuff by fabricating nasty emails. They don’t like the truth, so let’s give them a lie they can run with. Somebody pass this to your favorite news agency and tell them I’m a bad, bad man.
As an outsider looking in, it reminds me of a lot of the things we tell ourselves as court reporters. Need to be fair. Need to be civil. Need to be upstanding, and ethical, and always polite, and so on and so forth. We take a lot of our cues from the legal fiction of lawyers, civility, justice, and all that kind of stuff that everybody pays lip service to but only some actually follow. A lot of us really believe in that stuff, and in my case, I really did.
But just look at the reality. A firm ranked as one of the largest on Law360’s list had partners that put that stuff in writing. The firm just outed that it likely knew about this stuff and didn’t care. And then let’s not get into the idea of leaving your employer while poaching a large number of employees on exit. From beginning to end, nastiness, and in the eyes of the sanitized corporate world, “unprofessional.”
But it doesn’t matter. Lewis Brisbois just smacked one of its competitors hard.
This is why I chose to use the dirtbag left performative media style for Stenonymous in outing corporate fraud. I figured out sometime in 2021 that the corporate world only has a veneer of politeness, all this nonsense nice guy stuff goes right out the window as soon as money’s involved. When you drop the pretenses and the corporate dancing around the issues, you can get a lot more done. Not only is it a great choice for loudly broadcasting a message, which is what you need to do when the mass media is not on your side, but another outfit that uses that style, Chapo Trap House, was making $60,000 a month according to some reports. So not only can this help us by broadcasting a message, it also might end up drawing in a huge influx of cash to the field if it takes off. Imagine being able to pump our associations, unions, and nonprofits, and entrepreneurs full of cash from stenographic media. This is a future I envision, if I ever get the startup capital. Anyone know an angel investor with a twisted sense of humor?
I have great empathy for our leaders. They’re not allowed to drop the dance. They have to dance the dance. They have to speak a certain way. Meanwhile, I’m able to explore the depth and limits of free speech. I’m able to be the same person that all these big business types are, calculating, goal-oriented.
The thing that horrifies them is that my goal is not money, it’s truth and the advancement of working reporters. As I’ve said, money is a means to an end. And even when Stenonymous funding fell off, I persevered, because there is something special about our little culture and society, and I couldn’t watch it go out on a lie.
So next time you’re wondering whether you’re being too aggressive or impolite, just remember Lewis Brisbois. They don’t care what people think. They don’t care about morals. They don’t care about anything that isn’t protecting their piece of the pie. And when someone tried to take some of that pie, they used what leverage they had to take it back.
Reporters, it’s time to protect your piece of the pie. Information distribution and funding media that is aggressively advocating for the pie on your plate is what I’ve calculated will do it. Of course, I have other hopes related to equality, access to justice, and science, but these all align with the interests of the working reporter or sole proprietor and most of the small business owners.
It’s come to my attention that there may be texts circulating claiming to be Stenograph President Anir Dutta.
Mr. Dutta called me not too long ago (Sunday), and this was obviously not his area code. Nobody should be fooled by this dishonesty, it’s a common gift card scam.
It’s notable that these attacks are frequent on prominent organizations. The data to commit these scams is usually scraped off of organizations’ websites, and as far as I know, not usually the result of any breach.
It’s my sincere hope that more law enforcement emphasis gets put on scam detection, investigation, and prosecution. FTC data shows consumers losing over $8 billion to scams in 2022. That’s over twice the size of our entire industry. Double the money every single court reporter made in 2022.
If you or anyone receive this scam, remember not to fall for it. Respectable people like company presidents and association board members will not randomly ask for gift cards.
Stenonymous Satire Weekends is back with a vengeance tomorrow. We’ll be poking fun at AI art.
Personally, my favorite facial expression in this video was…
EchoTheSavage was pretty close in the beginning part there. He says the lyrics were written by me and performed by somebody else, but Anonymous actually wrote and created the song, which really impressed me when I first commissioned it. All I gave was creative direction. The crazy thing is toward the end of the review, he mentions how everybody’s voice can be tinkered with via AI. So he knows exactly what we’re trying to get out there when we talk about voice cloning being dangerous for legal proceedings without knowing a damn thing about us.
Now, I get pretty deep and political here, so if you just want a light read, stop here, close me out, go enjoy your day. Otherwise, keep reading.
If you follow my politics, you’ve probably figured out that I’m against corporatism. I think it threatens American capitalism. I think there’s a strong corporatist streak in both major American parties, and that the failure of government to enforce the laws equally is due largely to the fake media circus that Congress uses to distract Americans from the fact that they’re not doing their job and writing laws that would make Americans’ lives better and siphon more of the economy to working people. If they’d budget more money for things that are meant to keep markets fair, like the Federal Trade Commission, we’d see a fantastic shift in the state of the country and an explosive expansion of the middle and upper middle class. You think it’s not that easy? Look how tech went from AI Winter to being this omnipresent thing in our lives. What happened? Investors dumped money on it. When we dump money — no, when we invest in the people that keep this country running, from the cleaning people, to the cops and firefighters, to the doctors and lawyers, what do you think happens?
Why do you think the people in power rely so much on the “money is not the solution” line of thinking? Say something enough and it becomes truth. I have learned the media game and how left and right leaning people are being divided through the behavior of our leaders. I suspect it’s related to the Milgram experiment, where we learned that people are willing to put other people in danger if an authority figure tells them to. Authority figures have more or less directed us to fight amongst ourselves over things that really aren’t important while corporations continue to consolidate and more wealth flows into fewer hands. After the Citizens United ruling, unlimited money came into politics, and politics became a game of who had the most funding for their campaign. Who had the most money to give politicians? So now those fewer hands get to write our laws.
If you’ve ever had a pair of thieves steal from you, it’s a very similar scheme. One comes up to you and chats you up while the other one grabs your money or valuables out of your backpack. This is the rich man’s version of that. “Hey everyone, fight about nothing while the richest organizations in the country rob you blind.” It doesn’t have to be this way. We can unify. We can make a change. I feel so strongly about this I had a song commissioned a song called Patriots Against Corporatism.
EchoTheSavage reviewed that too.
I liken it to court reporting. People have told me nobody’ll read my work and that I won’t make a difference. We can argue about degrees of success, but they were wrong. And if people so sure of themselves could be wrong, and most of us are within the same range of human intelligence, then perhaps the people that think they rule the world are wrong too. And maybe the people who think that their voice doesn’t matter will realize that they might be wrong too.
And for as long as you’re alive, no matter how wrong you are, you have a chance to make a change.
In an email received at about 3:11 p.m. today, Stenograph announced the date of its town hall meeting and distributed an invite link. Participants are asked to send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 30, 2023.
There are some problems with the way this is being done. First, Stenograph being in control of the questions means that some questions may be disregarded. If you send in questions, consider saving evidence that you sent them and then letting me know if any of your questions were ignored afterwards. We can at least create a record of what wasn’t asked if my paranoia over Stenograph’s control of the event turns out to be healthy skepticism. Overlapping with that concern, there are questions about whether any live questions will be taken or whether the town hall will be exclusively limited to questions sent to the email provided by May 30. I have to admit, I believe that Stenograph should take some questions beforehand because it’s a company and it’s hard to answer questions on the fly about a company with no prep as to what those questions will be. But I also believe a healthy town hall would have some live question component.
Another problem that arises is that at 6 pm EST, it’s 3 PM PST. Many stenographers will be working at the time of the event, and if it is not recorded and distributed, they will miss it. Participants could record themselves using Open Broadcast Software or their phones or whatever, but it’s an extra step many won’t take. And again, paranoia strikes. What if low attendance is used to support the shortage narrative pushed by Stenograph, Veritext, US Legal Support, and the Speech-to-Text Institute? In my heart, I hope the company wouldn’t do that, but I’ve learned to stop thinking with my heart and understand that people play games.
If there are questions you want to ask that you don’t feel comfortable sending to Stenograph yourself, please comment them here. I will send them and keep a record of what I send. I will not send anything overtly inappropriate.
I’ve said many times before that if Stenograph admits that the Speech-to-Text Institute was wrong about the stenographer shortage being impossible to solve, it will make court reporting history. That’s what I’ll be looking out for. I have other questions about the percentage of revenue that goes into their R&D budget and what percentage of that is specifically spent on stenographic technology, but other than that, I haven’t yet decided what to ask.
For what it’s worth, if anybody from Stenograph is reading, thanks for doing this, but these are honest concerns court reporters have.
Court reporters, if you fight, you will win. You wanted a town hall and you got one. Make the most of it and remember this moment the next time someone tells you something cannot be done.
I messed up the times in the original post. It’s 6 PM EST, 3 PM PST. May 31, 2023.
While scouring social media, I came across an interesting post by Nancy Silberger. It mentioned the Better Business Bureau reviews for ProctorU.
This is not entirely surprising. I think most people only complain to BBB when they feel mistreated by business. But some of the complaints were striking. I know the only time I used the BBB was when Naegeli threatened me. It wasn’t helpful, but it does create a record.
Anyway, people came forward to discuss their feelings and ideas regarding testing and ProctorU.
What Dineen had to say really resonated with me. I personally believe AudioSync has massively deteriorated the interrupting skills of court reporters. But at this point, we have to contend with the reality that it is widely used on the job and using it effectively is part of the job for most court reporters and scopists. Even limited use would probably upgrade our pass rate significantly.
Just for the sake of completeness, I glanced over the BBB reviews too. Better Business Bureau isn’t infallible, but It’s pretty horrifying stuff for tests far less technical than ours.
As I was preparing for this post, a reader sent me an old Speech-to-Text Institute article with Marybeth Everhart, Realtime Coach. With hindsight, I can say that this supports the assertion that we need change. The ProctorU problems aside for a moment, I’ve been looked down on at times because I won’t refer to digitals as button pushers or recorders. Well, someone from the platform we use for our testing was pretty openly digital friendly.
And, unfortunately, as we later learned, the Speech-to-Text Institute is a propaganda outfit and corporate construct meant to manipulate the court reporting & stenotype services market. So, not to say that RTC is guilty of the same fraud I’ve alleged against Veritext et al, but for a field that used to care very much about bias or the appearance of bias, it does feel like all the major players, including ones we rely on for passing our students, are pretty biased in favor of expanding digital reporting, a position that is kind of strange to have if stenography is the gold standard and we haven’t tried other methods of alleviating the shortage, like asking lawyers to schedule with us in advance instead of the day before.
Even worse, digital proponents attack our testing procedures from the other direction, with Stenograph President Anir Dutta having stated in a letter, “…the national and state recognized process to certify a machine shorthand professional is unnecessarily arduous and, in our informed assessment, is designed to keep the number of stenographers entering the market artificially low.” I missed that line when I first reported about it, but I do find it kind of funny that while I have basically accused the companies under the Speech-to-Text Institute umbrella of manipulating the market to increase the number of court reporters create a market glut, depressing reporter incomes, they turned around and alleged that someone designed the state and national testing process to artificially reduce the number of stenographers. Since the National Court Reporters Association is basically the national test process, I think it’s safe to assume what organization they’re throwing shade on here, and it makes me rethink Anir’s NCRA comments a little bit more than I was thinking about them after he apologized to me.
In the hopes of a better tomorrow, I’m amplifying this discussion. Perhaps our next step is to have a serious look into which online proctoring companies have the best reviews and consider asking NCRA to make the switch.
Ai-Media acquired Alternative Communication Services in May 2020. According to the recollection of one source, there was a little buzz about it at the time and there were some who were concerned about the replacement of captioning providers and some that didn’t believe such a thing would happen. Well, they’ve been touting something called LEXI 3.0.
This wasn’t the only post done on the matter.
So, I guess I really have to say to captioners what I have said to court reporters. If I get some funding behind me there’s a lot we can do. We could sponsor independent studies into the accuracy of AI versus human transcribers/captioners. What we have so far in that department is promising.
But even short of that level of funding, we could do more advertising to increase public awareness about misleading technology claims and perceptions, something that is hitting mainstream media right now. After all, as I reported on this blog, Microsoft said they had achieved tech as good as human transcribers back in 2016. Then it flopped in the Racial Disparities in Automatic Speech Recognition 2020 study. Verbit flip-flopped between its series A and series B funding, first talking about saving on manual labor and then saying that they would not take the human transcriber out. So now when Ai-Media claims its LEXI 3.0 is rivaling human transcribers, it makes me wonder if this might be just another claim that they’re using to sell, sell, sell.
The best part? They don’t even have to lie to mislead. Check out the post above. “The world’s most advanced and accurate automatic captioning solution!” This is what’s referred to in legal circles as puffery. Even if it’s BS, it’s probably not false advertising. “Watch our video to see how LEXI 3.0 uses the power of AI to deliver results rivalling human captions, at a fraction of the cost.” Well, anybody can declare something rivals something. I declare apples rival oranges and Stenonymous rivals Veritext. It doesn’t mean anything. At the end of the day, if the AI gets 40% and captioners get 90%, they still rival each other, it’s just that one would be a really poor rival. At a fraction of the cost? Does that mean all of the cost savings are passed directly to consumers? It sure isn’t a guarantee.
This is why I’m so forward about educating reporters on marketing tricks and propaganda techniques. We are all subjected to media that influences our thoughts, and those thoughts go on to influence our actions. If a person is constantly inundated with the message that technology is exponentially growing and that it’s coming for all the jobs, they won’t seek out information that challenges that belief, like all the links I posted above that most people probably skip over out. Thanks confirmation bias and busy schedules.
Meanwhile, there’s a totally alternate reality where we start dumping money into calling out these companies and working out exactly how true their claims are so that we can share it with the world.
After Stenograph’s actions in Texas and Illinois, as well as the reports of declining service from the past and its questionable partnerships with TransAtlantic and TranscribeMe, Stenograph would ultimately be doing itself a favor to start reuniting with its stenographer base. In my view, all it would take for any of these companies under the Speech-to-Text Institute to sway stenographers back to their side is admitting that the Speech-to-Text Institute got it wrong with regard to the impossibility of solving the stenographer shortage.
Stenographers, now’s the time to make your voice heard. The petition only aims for a thousand signatures, but according to Stenograph’s own numbers, as I recall from the Illinois article, the number of Stenograph customers is much higher, in the 20,000 ballpark. The more we can do to spread the word, the more pressure Stenograph will feel to accept.
There’s a big question about who would moderate, but my money’s on Joshua Edwards. He’s always been fair and professional. He’d ensure no nastiness. Even I’d behave.
I assume they won’t accept. Then again, I’ve learned to never say never. I was told people would never read the blog. Now at least a thousand visit every month. Stenographers have a real chance at being a part of positive change by trying, so go sign today!
Years later, as it turned out, some of the largest court reporting companies would get together using a nonprofit called the Speech-to-Text Institute (STTI). That nonprofit would go on to mislead consumers about the stenographer shortage to artificially increase demand for digital court reporting. Tellingly, while a U.S. Legal Support representative had no problem using the word “libel” on one of the female members of my profession, USL and the other multimillion dollar corporations never dared utter a word about my eventual fraud allegations. The companies wanted to trick consumers into believing stenographers were unavailable due to shortage and force digital court reporting on them, where matters are recorded and transcribed.
This set off alarm bells in the world of court reporting. Stenotype manufacturing giant, Stenograph, also represented in STTI’s leadership, shifted from supporting realtime stenographic reporters to shoddy service, and began to call its MAXScribe technology realtime. Realtime, as many attorneys know, is a highly trained subset of court reporting that often comes with a premium. These bait-and-switch tactics on the digital court reporter side of the industry caused a nonprofit called Protect Your Record Project to spring up and begin educating attorneys on what was happening in our field. But as of today, the nonprofit has not reached a level of funding that would allow it to advertise these issues on a national scale — this blog’s in the same boat.
So as more of the workforce is switched to digital reporters / recorders and transcribers, we’re seeing companies use influencers and other media to lure transcribers in for low pay. In short, digital court reporting is now synonymous with side hustle. These companies are going to take the field of skilled reporters that law firms and courts know and love, replace them with transcribers, and go on charging the same money. For the stenographer shortage, these folks were dead silent for the better part of a decade. Now that they need transcribers to replace us, they’re going all out to recruit.
“What do I care?” That’s what a lot of lawyers and paralegals might be asking at this point. Well, I may not write as well as Alex Su, but I’ll do my best here. First, there are egalitarian concerns. In the Testifying While Black study, stenographers only scored 80% accuracy on the African American Vernacular English dialect. This was widely reported in the media, but what was lost by the media was the reveal of pilot study 1, which showed everyday people only transcribe with an accuracy of about 40% (e226). When we’re talking about replacing court reporters with “side hustle technology,” we’re talking about a potential 50% drop in accuracy and a reduction in court record quality for minority speakers, something courts are largely unaware of. According to the Racial Disparities in Automatic Speech Recognition study, automation isn’t coming to save us either. Voice writing is the best bet for the futurists, and it’s being completely ignored by these big companies.
There are also security concerns. When we’re talking about utilizing transcribers, we’re talking about people that have an economic incentive to sell any private data they might gain from the audio or transcript. If transcription is outsourced, a bribe as low as $600 might be enough to get people acting unethically. Digital court reporting companies have already shown they’re not protective of people’s data — in fact, companies represented in the Speech-to-Text Institute. This also leads to questions about remedies for suspected omissions or tampering. Would you rather subpoena one local stenographer or teams of transcribers, some possibly outside of the jurisdiction?
Finally, there’s an efficiency issue with digital court reporting. Turnaround times can be much slower. Self-reported, it can take up to 6 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio. By comparison, 1 hour of proceedings can take a qualified stenographer 1 to 2 hours to transcribe. That’s 3 to 6 times faster. Everyone here knows stenographers aren’t perfect and that backlogs happen. Now imagine a world where the backlog is 3 to 6 times what it is today. In one case, a transcript took about two months to deliver. If we’re going to hire teams of transcribers to do the work of one stenographic court reporter, aren’t we going backwards?
Consumers are the ones with the power here. They can demand stenographers, utilize companies that aren’t economically incentivized to lie to them, and spread awareness to other consumers. Consumers, lawyers and court administrators, decide the future. Knowing what you do now, do you want a court reporter or a side hustler at your next deposition or criminal case?
Written by Christopher Day, a stenographic court reporter in New York City that has been serving the legal community since 2010. He is also a former board member of the New York State Court Reporters Association and a former volunteer for the National Court Reporters Association STRONG Committee. Day also authors the Stenonymous blog, the industry’s leading independent publication on court reporting media, information, data, analyses, satire, and archiving of current events. He also appeared on VICE with regard to the Testifying While Black study and fiercely advocated for more linguistics training for court reporters in and around New York State.
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