Importance of your Communication with the Parties

I suggest that, as judges, in your pre-trail conference that you make sure that the lawyers have identified which witnesses are going to need the benefit of a certified court interpreter.  The importance of that is because you also want to make sure that the interpreter, if it's going to be a medical witness, if it's going to be a science, scientific evidence witness, you want to make sure that the interpreter that is selected to interpret is actually qualified and more familiar with that sort of subject area, so that they are competent when they are involved in what would be otherwise complex litigation.

The other thing you want to do in your pre-trail conferences is make the parties identify if there's going to be any documentation, or audio recordings, or video recordings that are going to require the services of a court interpreter

Another important reason why you want to have a conversation with the interpreter with the litigants and the attorneys present is because you want to make sure that they understand the rules for the interpreter.  If the interpreter is going to be simultaneously interpreting that's one thing, if they're going to be interpreting consecutively, that is a question will be asked, then the interpreter will state the question to the witness, the witness will answer, then the interpreter will state the answer, it's important for you as a judge to make sure that everybody understand the rules. 

Rules 1-103(E)(8) and 5-122(E)(8) - allow interpreter a reasonable time for translation or transcription

Rules 1-103(E)(9) and 5-122(E)(9) - consult with interpreter and participants about mode of interpreting

 

NM Center for Language Access
New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts 

237 Don Gaspar, Room 25
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
aocjmk@nmcourts.gov
505 827 4822
nmcenterforlanguageaccess.org

 
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