He hit random keys or wrote, ‘I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job,’ over and over.

– An anonymous source describing stenographer Daniel Kochanski’s “bizarre antics” during numerous trials, which have caused judges to hold reconstruction hearings to repair the record in many cases.

(There’s much more to this story, so keep reading to see what happened.)

Kochanski is described in the New York Post as a “rogue alcoholic court reporter” who “wreaked havoc” on the court system with his wily ways. Claudia Trupp of the Center for Appellate Litigation is working on appeals in 10 of the cases Kochanski dealt with, and she’s “never had a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage.” Kochanski’s dirty deeds eventually caught up with him:

Kochanski, 43, was fired in March 2012 for misconduct, said Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver.

Sources said the Manhattan DA’s Office arrested Kochanski and forced him to try to make sense of his shorthand typing.

But that effort apparently failed. Judges have been holding “reconstruction hearings” at which everyone involved in a case has to testify about what they remember.

“This situation is terrible for everybody,” Trupp said. “It’s very difficult to come up with a sufficient record based on everybody’s recollection years after the event.”

Kochanski apparently became an alcoholic five years ago, and his ex-wife says “[t]he pressure of that job pushed him over the edge, leading him to lose everything.” For what it’s worth, he denies everything:

“I never typed gibberish. I always did my job 100 percent. I was let go because of substance abuse,” he said.

“I’m in recovery. July will be one year I’m clean,” he said.

You know how when you’re drunk you think everything you’re writing makes perfect sense? Yeah… We feel like that might have been the case here. We wish Kochanski the best of luck with his recovery, and Trupp and her legal team the best of luck with rehabbing those cases — it sounds like they need it.

Rogue alcoholic court reporter kept writing ‘I hate my job’ [New York Post]
Alcoholic stenographer causes chaos in court by typing ONLY ‘I hate my job, I hate my job’ over and over [Daily Mail]


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