When successfully coordinating interpreted depositions you MUST hire an experienced and knowledgeable interpreter. Next, you will want your interpreter to explain the deposition process and how to conduct themselves accordingly. Setting out some ground rules will ensure everything flows smoothly and in an orderly fashion.
Tips for The Attorneys
Attorneys must keep in mind that many non-English speaking individuals raised in foreign countries have had little to no exposure to the American legal system. Getting familiar with their language can help assist in communication. Whenever possible, attorneys should keep their sentences easy to understand and use simple vocabulary. Try to avoid using legal terms as this will only confuse non-English speaking witnesses. Lastly, attorneys must remain aware of the highly complex task at hand for the interpreter. The deposition interpreter must first hear, then understand, then analyze, and, finally, repeat the deponent’s testimony accurately and completely in another language. Their high levels of concentration can be taxing to their mental clarity. Allow time for breaks to keep them mentality sharp and preserve the quality of the record.
Tips for the Deponent in Interpreted Depositions
• Waiting for the deposition interpreter to finish interpreting the question before answering it, even if the deponent understands the question in English
• Not to engage in conversation with the legal interpreter or ask questions of the interpreter
• To answer the question in the speaker’s native language only, not English, even though they may know some English
• To notify counsel conducting the deposition if they do not understand a question being asked
• To provide verbal responses (as opposed to nodding or gesturing)
• To informing counsel conducting the deposition when they need to take a break
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