Honoring the Employees Committed to Preserving the Court Record
PHOENIX (February 1, 2024) – Expected to capture every spoken word with 95% accuracy, court reporters have one of the most challenging jobs in the court system.
As part of National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County will show its appreciation for court reporters with a week-long celebration beginning Feb. 3.
“I want to thank our court reporters for their dedication, skill and unwavering commitment to justice. By creating the official record, they are an essential part of our legal system, and we are grateful for their service,” said Dr. Christopher Bleuenstein, who manages the court reporter unit.
The Superior Court in Maricopa County employs 21 court reporters responsible for ensuring a complete, accurate and secure legal record. They are trained to type as fast as people speak using shorthand on a stenographic machine.
To work as a court reporter in Arizona, an individual must pass the Registered Professional Reporter exam and a written test through the Supreme Court of Arizona. In addition, they must annually complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education to maintain their certification.
To pass the state exam, each test segment must be passed with 95% accuracy and at a certain speed. The segments are Literary (180 words per minute), Jury Charge (200 words per minute) and Testimony Questions and Answers (225 words per minute).
“In reality, people talk faster than 225 words per minute. Therefore, the range of a court reporter is closer to 260 to 300 words per minute,” Dr. Bleuenstein said.
Court reporters are not assigned to a specific judicial division because they may be called upon at a moment’s notice to lend their services to other courtrooms. They provide support to criminal judicial officers for mandated hearings, and also serve in a limited capacity in the Civil, Probate/Mental Health, Family and Juvenile departments upon request.