Frequently Asked Questions – Transcription on Demand
Who is StoryCloud?
StoryCloud is the leading provider of low cost nationwide legal transcription services for litigators.
What is StoryCloud’s Transcription on Demand Service?
Transcription on Demand is a new low cost transcription service for litigators. Using powerful software and highly skilled reporters, StoryCloud delivers a nearly 100% accurate certified transcript, ideally suited for settlement, hearings, summary judgments and trials.
How much does the service cost?
In most cases, the service will cost approximately 15% to 30% less. However, for a specific quote, simply send StoryCloud a copy of your latest one or two invoices and we will provide you with an exact cost to compare.
Why is StoryCloud building this type of service?
In 1879 Miles Bartholomew patented the original stenograph machine. It was a remarkable device with ten metallic keys that enabled an operator to accurately transcribe speech at a rate of approximately 200 words per minute. That’s how fast people speak. By using ten keys, in different combinations, stenographers have been able to listen to a speaker, press keys in phonetic combinations like “LMK” for “Let Me Know”, and create a transcript from what they heard.
Equally remarkable is the fact for the past 140 years little has changed. Reporters still use the same basic machine, at an enormously overpriced cost of several thousand dollars, and produce an accurate transcript. It’s also fair to say that the industry has been trapped in a 20th-century business model with 20th-century tools and has been largely unable to adapt. Labor costs in the industry are going up, and the available labor pool to deliver the service is going down. This is one of the few $10 Billion industries that has seen almost no innovation. Stenographic transcription, by definition, is a completely analog model and is impossible to scale. One stenographer can only work on one deposition or transcript at a time. Moreover, by scaling we mean for example, how can computers be used to gain operational efficiencies? Or, how can technology be implemented to lower costs? How can transcripts become even more accurate than they are today? How can a technology system be used to proofread thousands of deposition transcripts simultaneously?
StoryCloud is addressing these issues by creating an entire network-centric turnkey platform, and an end-to-end solution for litigators that does scale. We are changing both the technology and the business model.
What are the fundamental differences between court reporting companies and StoryCloud?
Many attorneys ask that question. We are also asked, how can you offer a superior work product at a substantially lower rate?
The answer is that StoryCloud has a different process with scalable technology enhancements that accelerate the accuracy of the transcript.
Before StoryCloud, a court reporter used a stenographic machine to capture the testimony. In most cases, a skilled reporter can produce a rough draft at about a 90% accuracy rate. After the draft is completed, for each hour of testimony there are three to four hours of editing and proofreading to produce a 99.9% accurate transcript. Note 99.9% is generally regarded as the gold standard for a transcription work product.
To translate these numbers more precisely, a traditional court reporter, using a steno machine, produces a rough draft that contains 10 errors for every 100 words. A 99.9% final certified transcript has 1 error for every 1,000 words. Specifically, there are usually about 210 words per page. There are also roughly 35 pages of transcript for every hour of testimony.
Alternatively, StoryCloud uses the verbatim audio testimony from the participants, with multiple backup systems, to record the deposition. StoryCloud does not use a stenographic machine. Once recorded, the audio file is processed by thousands of computers and powerful artificial intelligence software to produce a 99% accurate rough draft. Our rough draft has approximately 10 fewer errors per 100 words and is approximately 10 times more accurate. It requires many fewer hours to edit and proofread in order to produce a 99.9% or greater accuracy rate and final certified work product. Moreover, StoryCloud’s work product gets increasingly more accurate and efficient over time.
What are the differences between court reporting billing and StoryCloud billing?
Historically, court reporting invoices have been difficult to read and by many accounts on occasion fraught with errors. They include additional billable line items for formatting, pdf files, exhibits, and attending a deposition.
Alternatively, StoryCloud creates a simple, all inclusive single line item based upon a per page rate, or agreed upon flat fee based on the number of hours.
What type of attorneys can use Transcription on Demand?
Both plaintiff and defense counsel can utilize the Transcription on Demand service. Any attorney that requires a transcript can use the service for depositions, mediations, expert witness testimony and the like.
How does Transcription on Demand work?
A well-trained and qualified Digital Reporter, who is also a notary and authorized by the state, administers the oath to the witness. The Digital Reporter also operates the computer equipment, which is entirely supplied by StoryCloud and records the audio/video testimony. The Reporter also handles the exhibits and provides read back testimony when asked.
What are the normal turnaround times to deliver a transcript?
Within 5 to 7 business days, StoryCloud produces an extremely accurate certified transcript of the testimony which is delivered electronically to the taking party. Opposing counsel is notified and can choose to receive a copy as well.
Are the expediting charges for quicker delivery?
Yes. Expediting charges are in line with standard industry practices they range from 20% to 50%.
Does StoryCloud store the audio/video, transcription and exhibit content and for how long?
Yes, StoryCloud maintains the content for seven years including exhibits. The charge is $25.00 for maintaining all records per case.
How do I interact with the content that has been created from the deposition?
StoryCloud provides an easy to use and searchable content viewer hosted on a web portal that is accessible with a user's credentials. Content can be searched by an attorney’s name, case number, firm name, legal matter, date, deponent name and almost any other criteria from the case. The content viewer is independent of any operating system and can be viewed through any web browser.
What is the work product that StoryCloud produces?
StoryCloud produces a nearly 100% accurate certified transcript, as well as audio and when requested video files for litigators as a result of the testimony from the deposition. The content is shared electronically, it is also stored at StoryCloud for viewing or future use along with exhibits and billing data.
Does StoryCloud certify the transcript?
How is read and sign handled for Transcript on Demand proceedings?
For depositions reported by StoryCloud, the opportunity for the witness to read and sign the transcript applies only in those instances in which the deposition is fully finalized and a certified transcript is produced. The process of read and sign operates in the same fashion as attorneys are accustomed as dictated by the rules of civil procedure for the jurisdiction in which the case is venued. The certified transcript will be distributed to the appropriate parties and the witness given notice of the allowable 30-day period in which to read the transcript, execute the declaration and complete the errata page. The signed declaration and errata pages should then be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing, inclusion in the Original transcript, delivery of the Original sealed transcript to the ordering party and copies of the read and sign pages distributed to all parties.
Can you show me how the software works?
We have enclosed three screenshots of our content portal, speech to text engine and the read back software.
StoryCloud Content Portal
Speech to Text Engine
Read Back Software
Are there specific states that will be using Transcription on Demand immediately?
Yes. As StoryCloud scales, resources will be directed to the first handful of states which will include: NY, GA, NC, SC, VA, MD, and Washington D.C.
What makes Transcription on Demand unique?
The answer is innovative business process and technology. First, the primary recording method is not a stenographic recording device. StoryCloud uses the latest computing and recording technology with multiple redundant systems to record the audio and if requested, a video of the proceedings. The content, both audio and video, is recorded at the site and on several small and unassuming network computing devices. That content is simultaneously streamed to the cloud. Moreover, the audio is also recorded on an additional and separate computer. In effect, there are three simultaneous copies of the audio made ensuring a redundant reliable fail-safe process for complete availability. The architecture is similar to what NASA does on the space shuttle.
Does StoryCloud index keywords and exhibits?
How are witness read backs performed?
StoryCloud has created proprietary read back application that uses real-time computers to record the audio, then quickly scroll back to the requested question or section of the deposition. The Digital Reporter simply plays back the appropriate section.
Can the deposition transcript text be streamed in real time to multiple participants?
Yes, the “rough draft text” can be streamed. This is one line item that StoryCloud usually charges an extra fee of approximately $200.00. The content can be viewed on any computer through a web browser.
What is different about the StoryCloud business model?
StoryCloud believes that the business model should be reflective of the norms in the 21st century. A scalable work product enables StoryCloud to provide a new business model that reflects how people in the 21st century want to do business. For example, clients can choose to be invoiced by the page where all additional line items are included in a final price or a client can be billed by the hour. Traditional incremental costs such as handling exhibits, producing a mini-script, or processing files are all included in an all included single line item invoice.
Also, the work product is delivered electronically and is not an original plus 1 (aka O and 1). The attorney receives the electronic copy and is free to make and distribute copies to other members of the taking party.
The traditional court reporting business model, by necessity and a result of a lack of scalability, produces cryptic invoices. There are different and incremental costs for formatting documents, handling exhibits and producing copies to name just a few.
The add-on line items often make it difficult to decipher the invoice and nearly impossible to compare. Frequently, these invoices also contain errors, according to the hundreds of attorneys we have spoken to about the practice. They require careful time-consuming proofreading and often calls to the vendor’s billing department; all of which are non-billable hours.
There is no reason why an invoice can’t be simple, easy to read, understand and importantly easily identified as correct.
Why is StoryCloud referred to as the Uber of legal transcription services?
To a large extent, court reporting services are remarkably alike and are indistinguishable from one another. The attorneys and staff make decisions based on convenience, perks provided by vendors and perceived value. Like a yellow taxi cab, there is little to differentiate one court reporting service from another.
Alternatively, StoryCloud focuses on creating demonstrable value for the client. It is a scalable, streamlined service that provides demonstrable and identifiable value to the clients.
For example, current pricing for rough transcriptions are less than market rates today. Moreover, as time goes on, we anticipate being able to continuously lower the price of the service and increase its accuracy.
What type of people does StoryCloud use to deliver its Transcription on Demand Service and where do they come from?
Interestingly, there is a wealth of talented people who are already paralegals, notaries and even attorneys who are interested in working with StoryCloud. We pay wages that are generally above their current salaries at their existing employers. They come from all over the country and have been described as itinerant workers by Mary Meeker.
What are the benefits of Transcription on Demand for plaintiff attorneys?
StoryCloud delivers a revolutionary scalable technology platform and business model.
Lower cost per case
Increase operational efficiencies
Accelerate case settlement with shareable audio/video testimony
Decrease the case cycle time
Reduce out of pocket expenses
Simplify flat fee or billable hour invoicing
Clear comparable case cost metrics for internal use and clients
What is the benefit of Transcription on Demand for defense firms and insurance carriers?
Scalable technology & business model with a flat fee or billable hour single line item invoicing.
Lower cost per case
Increase profitability & operational efficiencies
Remote depositions, eliminate attorney travel time
Accelerate case settlement with shareable audio/video testimony
Decrease the case cycle time
Reduce out of pocket expenses
Clear comparable case cost metrics for internal use, clients & carriers
Claims adjusters can hear and audit the content in real time
Are there relevant civil procedure codes that apply to litigation in my state?
Yes. StoryCloud maintains a private wiki with all relevant civil procedure codes as well as an opinion from our legal counsel on how best to proceed in the event that either party has a question. Please reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Do you have a sample stipulation agreement that can be shared with opposing counsel on the use of StoryCloud’s Transcription on Demand service?
Yes, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share the appropriate document with you.
How much does it cost for opposing counsel to use Transcription on Demand?
Some state laws specifically dictate pricing but as a general rule, the cost will be approximately 60% to 80% of the invoice received by the taking party. As a general rule we pass discounts along to the opposing counsel.
How do I get a specific price quote for my case?
The easiest way to receive a specific quote is to send StoryCloud one or two of your previous invoices and we will itemize the cost on a per page or per job basis making it easy to see the difference. We will provide you with a sample invoice from StoryCloud so that you can easily see the difference.
How do I budget for my case?
Simply send 2 or 3 redacted copies of current invoices and StoryCloud will send a price quote for your particular legal matter. Documents can be sent to email@example.com.
Do I need an internet connection?
In the ideal world, yes, an internet connection with at least a 5 MBits per-second uplink is preferred, but not essential. However, internet connections do fail during the proceedings. StoryCloud can record on local devices without the internet. Importantly, part of our procedure is to bring a separate MiFi device to establish a separate intent connection if necessary.
In the event of a complete lack of internet service we still record the deposition and the session proceeds.
What happens if there is no internet connection?
The primary recording for audio and video is captured regardless of having an internet connection.
What specific technical requirements should you be aware of to successfully run the service?
Depending upon the location, StoryCloud will diligence the job site before the deposition and determine both the bandwidth and check to make sure that a firewall will not be in place during the proceedings.
Can I choose to use only transcription services or only legal video services?
Yes. Pricing is available on our website at storycloud.co for either service.
Can I do remote depositions using only transcription services and audio?
Yes. Remote depositions can be performed by a remote Digital Reporter at a location apart from the location of the taking attorney. The audio can be streamed back to the local attorney's office and received on his or her computer, or a simple conference bridge can be used over telephone lines for all parties to hear and respond.
How is the oath of office administered?
A certified notary, who is a Digital Reporter, delivers the oath of office and maintains the records for the deposition. The Reporter also handles the exhibits.
Describe StoryCloud’s security approach.
We’ve designed our platform, policies and procedures from the ground up to ensure the security of all content we record, create, and administer on behalf of our clients. The overarching objectives of our data security posture are to ensure that data can be accessed only by the people who have a right to do so, that our stored data is consistent, accurate and trustworthy from the moment it’s created until it’s destroyed, and that people who have the right to access the data can do so at all times.
To meet these objectives, we apply a number of industry-standard technical controls, including: strong authentication and role-based access controls at the platform and application levels; platform and application event logging and monitoring; strong encryption of all recorded content and deposition data in transit, and of all recorded content at rest; real-time replication of recorded content to a geographically redundant storage site, and hourly backups of all deposition data.
How do I engage with StoryCloud to utilize the service?
Simply send a copy of the notice to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have reference clients for the service that I can speak with?
Yes. Email StoryCloud at email@example.com
How do you work with existing court reporters and their associated agencies?
We work well with all court reporting companies. We share many jobs together all across the country. Although competitive at times, all parties are professional and courteous.
Most importantly, StoryCloud is not trying to put court reporters out of business. Our mission is to work with court reporters to help them scale their practice profitably using technology to deliver a highly reliable, consistent and accurate work product. We welcome court reporters and believe we can provide them with a terrific income while at a fraction of the stress they incur today.
What happens in the unlikely event that two attorneys begin to yell at each other during the proceedings?
StoryCloud Digital Reporters are specifically trained on the etiquette of depositions and on rare occasions attorneys will become impassioned and yell at each other. The reporter is responsible for helping to maintain order and politely informs the participants that they can not properly record the session until the participants calm down and maintain a professional demeanor.
Depending upon the nature of the argument, the Digital Reporter may go off the record until the participants have calmed down and regain their composure.
Disclaimer: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Because the law differs in each legal jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on your location or situation, you should not rely upon the materials provided in this FAQ or web site without first consulting an attorney with respect to your specific situation. Further, the use of and access to this web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and StoryCloud.