Opinions and Legal Insights

Your Interpreter Is A Plus at Trial; Use Accordingly!

The need for an interpreter at trial can often seem like just one more of those annoying administrative details of which you have already entirely too many. And yet, an interpreter can make all the difference between your witness being able to give persuasive testimony, and not-so-convincing testimony.
Effective interpreting is not about mere translation of the words! A good interpreter will convey the tone, emphasis, and nuances of your witness’ communication, all of which weigh heavily in how jurors will receive the message.
Therefore, prepare your witness with the interpreter present, whenever possible. Learn to work with the interpreter. You are no longer a solo flier; you are now working in tandem with your interpreter, as well as the witness. Best to prepare accordingly!
Be sensitive to cultural issues. Different cultures respond to being questioned in different ways. Your interpreter can help you frame your questions such that you elicit the best possible testimony from your witness.