One of the sessions at Fall Legal in Rogers on Thursday was a panel discussion for lawyers on the topic of how to work with interpreters. We had an impressive panel, including Mara Simmons (Director for Court Interpreter Services for the Administrative Office of the Courts and a certified Spanish/English interpreter), Anne Yancey (a Federal and State certified Spanish/English interpreter), and Cheryl Thomas (the staff sign language interpreter and a certified sign language interpreter). It was a privilege and a lot of fun to work with this knowledgeable and entertaining panel.
We talked about strategies for working with interpreters to benefit your clients. If you are working with a client or a witness with limited English proficiency (LEP), the panelists gave useful advice, including:
The most interesting thing about the presentation was the stories the interpreters told to illustrate some of these points. Most of those would be hard to summarize.
We are going to present another session on how to handle problems in interpretation at the Mid-Year meeting. We are hoping to make this presentation available in other venues over the coming years.