How court reporters keep up during Arias-style cross examination - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

How court reporters keep up during Arias-style cross examinations

Posted: Updated: Feb 22, 2013 09:20 AM

Cross examination in the Jodi Arias trial has been very heated and rapid fire, not ideal conditions for a court reporter trying transcribe each and every word.

Marty Herder is a court reporter, President of Arizona Litigation Support and President-Elect of the Arizona Court Reporters Association. He's no stranger to high-stress court situations.

"Court reporters are trained to take down testimony verbatim at speeds of 225 wpm at 99 percent accuracy, and in a myriad of difficult, heated and high profile situations," Herder said.

Not only can they type quickly and accurately, court reporters learn how to detect various dialects and accents.

The Arias' case easily brings a high-stress environment to the court room, partly because of the national attention it's garnered.

Herder says court reporters have to learn to ignore distractions in order to correctly transcribe everything that's said in court.

"We have to tune out external stresses, and concentrate to hear everything that goes on in the room...every question, every answer, objection, and grunt, and comprehend all of it immediately, holding onto it as more comes in, and keeping it in order continuously," said Herder.

But what happens if a court reporter misses a word or gets behind?

"If it's said, and can be heard, then it's recorded," said Herder. "There really is no time to fail because there are no backup quarterbacks, no Mulligans, no one else in the room that can step in...and the judicial system, the attorneys and the public are counting on you."

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