When interviewing or questioning someone who doesn’t speak English well, or at all, an interpreter is necessary to bridge the language gap. Having an interpreter helps put the witness at ease by allowing them to speak openly in their native language rather than struggling to find the right word in English. Ensure the translation process goes smoothly by avoiding these mistakes when hiring a legal interpreter.
Appointing an Inexperienced Person
Before you select an interpreter for the job, meet with them to make sure they are qualified. Federally certified court interpreters with years of experience understand the role they play in the deposition or interview process. They conduct themselves professionally, maintain the appropriate tone, and stay focused on the task at hand. Their fluency helps ensure accuracy and brevity in the translation, with no embellishment or explanation that could taint the original testimony.
Failing to Prepare the Interpreter
If this is your first time working with a legal interpreter, you may be unaware that some preparation is required. After all, while the interpreter may be fluent in English and the language the witness speaks, your case may involve unique terminology that will be used during questioning.
Speak with the interpreter before the interview begins to ensure they are comfortable enough with both languages to avoid confusion during the translation. If the interpreter requests anything to assist with the process, make sure you have it available upon their arrival.
Directing Your Questions to the Interpreter Instead of the Witness
Because you can comprehend what the interpreter is saying, but you can’t understand the witness, it may feel natural to look at the interpreter during the interview. However, the witness is the person you’re questioning, so you should maintain eye contact with them while you or they are speaking. Directing questions to the witness is more professional than giving all your attention to the interpreter.
If you need an unbiased, professional, and accurate interpreter for your upcoming court case or deposition, Talty Court Reporters can help. We have years of experience coordinating and scheduling interpreters who speak Spanish, Haitian Creole, Navajo, and more. Our services are suitable for legal depositions, video depositions, and court proceedings.
Contact us today to arrange legal interpreting services in San Jose.
If you need notary services near San Jose , then look no further than Talty Court Reporters, Inc. We offer notary services for any notarial need that your company or law firm may have, including copy certification, oath or affirmation, verification upon an oath or jurat, and signature witnessing. Some of the most common reasons why people turn to us for notary services include deeds of trust, wills, power of attorney, signature affidavit, and mortgage notes.
At Talty Court Reporters, Inc., our mission is to make it as easy as possible for corporations and law firms to get their forms properly notarized. We are committed to providing our clients with exemplary customer service, as evidenced by the gleaming reputation that we have maintained for more than five decades. Talty Court Reporters, Inc. proudly serves San Jose and the surrounding areas. To find out more about the services we offer and why you should choose us for court transcript and notary services, please visit our website.
Did you know that the process you use to book deposition services can potentially help your court reporter better prepare for your case? If you will be working with a court reporter in San Jose , then keep reading to learn what you can do to help her during the deposition booking process.
Start Communicating as Early as Possible
The sooner that you schedule a deposition or hearing with the court reporting agency, the better. Your court reporter is part of your team and should be included in the process as soon as possible. Also, you can help your court reporter by keeping her informed of any cancellations or scheduling changes. Additionally, sending a copy of any subpoena or notice that you plan to use can save you time later by allowing your court reporter to prepare for the deposition in advance.
Advise the Court Reporting Agency of Special Circumstances
You can help your court reporter help you by informing the court reporting agency if you expect that court or a deposition will stretch through lunch or into the evening. By allowing your court reporter to make necessary arrangements for these circumstances, both of you can benefit.
Also, if you suspect that you will require the services of an interpreter or videographer, then this should be shared with the court reporting agency in advance. When doing this, provide what details you can by explaining what type of witness you will be using and why an interpreter or videographer is needed.
Specify Your Preferences and Needs Ahead of Time
Is there a format you want the transcript to be in? If so, then it is ideal to inform your court reporting agency of this before the deposition. Similarly, if you will need the transcript to be expedited, then it is best to let the court reporting agency know at the time of the booking. Finally, if you will need the services of a videographer, make your appointment accordingly, as he will need to arrive before the deposition to set up the equipment.
If you have worked with an agency court reporter in the past, you are probably already familiar with the many effective uses of technology in legal depositions and in the courtroom. Deposition video and other recorded evidence can certainly bolster your case if done correctly and court reporting agencies serving San Jose can make sure this recorded evidence is properly prepared. Unfortunately, this also means that the counsel for the other party could also use recorded evidence to support the case against your client. Before heading to court, you may wish to brush up on the basics of objecting to recorded evidence.
While preparing a case, it is always a good idea to review any applicable requirements in the jurisdiction and any rulings issued by the judge. At present, almost all courts have issued rulings with regard to the admissibility of recorded evidence and their verification requirements. Of course, it is essential that you follow these requirements when preparing and presenting your recorded evidence, but you may also be able to use violations of these requirements by the opposing counsel as grounds for evidentiary objections. For example, in California, a party must provide a transcript of the deposition or the prior testimony to the court before that party can offer into evidence any recordings. When the recording is played in court, legal counsel is required to identify the corresponding page and line numbers of the transcript.
Effective lawyers lodge objections when doing so will serve their case. It is often thought that objecting too many times within a short period of time will only serve to frustrate the jury and possibly to prejudice a few jurors against the objecting lawyer. This is a matter of opinion, but regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s important to have a firm grasp on when you can object to recorded evidence prepared by a court reporter. Some of the most common grounds for evidentiary objections are as follows:
- The recorded evidence is irrelevant.
- The recorded evidence lacks sufficient foundation or authentication.
- The recorded evidence is prejudicial or is a matter of hearsay.
- The recorded evidence depicts circumstances that are not sufficiently similar to those at stake in this litigation.
It is also wise to thoroughly review your own recorded evidence to identify any potential grounds for objections by the other party.
Preparing your witness for a deposition is an essential part of a getting your case ready, but the process can seem overwhelming, especially if you have a nervous or reluctant witness. Fortunately, getting witnesses prepared to testify can be easily accomplished by following four simple rules. Make these rules as much a part of your preparation process as hiring a court reporter for deposition services in San Jose .
Practice Listening Skills
One of the errors witnesses are prone to making is giving an answer that does not relate back to the question. They may provide more information than the question asks for, or they may not answer the question at all, but instead give different information that can be used by the opposing counsel to uncover new details about the case. Practice getting your witness to listen to question carefully and giving a precise answer to exactly what is being asked.
Practice Dealing with Misunderstandings
Witnesses often feel pressured to answer questions even when they don’t understand them, which can lead to them providing misleading or false information that could damage their case. Help them get comfortable with saying that they don’t know the answer to a question rather than guessing or fabricating details. It can be especially difficult for expert witnesses to say they don’t know the answer something, so preparing them to do so can be particularly helpful.
Practice Considering the Question
Most witnesses want to jump right into an answer without thinking about the question and what they want to say. Help your witnesses get comfortable with the silence between the question and their answer that is necessary for them to give a thoughtful response. When witnesses try to fill in these silences, they may introduce new information or open doors to new avenues of testimony that could be detrimental to your case.
Practice Giving Short Answers
The best answers to questions in depositions are short ones. Short answers are easier for your court reporter and less open to scrutiny. Further, with a short answer, there is less of a chance of inadvertently sharing information that bolsters the other side’s case.
At a legal deposition in San Jose , it’s your responsibility as the defense counsel to protect your witness. This may entail applying the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure, but other steps should be taken well in advance of the legal deposition. While you are arranging deposition services such as court reporting, you should set aside sufficient time to properly prepare your witness.
This video offers some words of wisdom on effectively defending legal depositions by preparing your witness properly. Ideally, your witness should have a thorough understanding of not only the types of questions that may be asked, but the manner in which the witness should answer them as well. All answers should be kept as short and concise as possible. Your witness should understand that it is not advisable to volunteer any information.
Travel is often seen as an inevitable hassle in the legal field. Witnesses, defendants, and other parties do not always live conveniently close in proximity. But before you make your next airline reservation, consider speaking with a court reporting agency in San Jose about teleconference equipment. You can arrange remote deposition services that include teleconferencing, which will allow you to depose witnesses from the comfort of your home town. Depending on your typical frequency of travel, you could save thousands each year by teleconferencing instead of traveling.
Of course, arranging for deposition services that include teleconferences will save you the cost of the plane ticket, but you’ll save in other ways as well. You won’t have to rent a car at your destination and you won’t have to book a hotel room. You’ll also save on the cost of dining out. Teleconferencing can even be cost-effective if you previously intended to drive to your destination instead of flying there. By hosting a teleconference, you won’t be putting extra miles on your car and shelling out cash for fuel.
If you’ve recently passed the Bar exam, you’re probably looking forward to conducting your first legal deposition in San Jose and litigating your first case. But it’s important to remind yourself that you’re still essentially a student. It will take a long time to become accustomed to working with a court reporter, arranging deposition services, and sorting through court transcripts. Since there will always be new things to learn about practicing law , it’s in your best interests to join your local Bar Association and look for a subgroup for new lawyers. Networking will help you expand your knowledge base while you make connections that could lead to a job.
Watch this video to hear what some established attorneys would tell new lawyers. Some of these recommendations include finding a mentor, memorizing the rules of evidence, and setting aside a portion of your practice for pro bono cases.
Transcription services are essential for many aspects of the legal profession. Some lawyers might be tempted to cut corners when arranging for transcription services in San Jose, but this can lead to inaccurate, shoddy work that may even jeopardize the outcome of a case. Instead, look for a court reporter who has been highly trained and who is associated with a court reporting agency. It’s usually best to avoid independent contractors because there is no guarantee that the court reporter has received extensive training and has been certified through the Court Reporters Board of California.
To obtain certification, applicants must undergo rigorous examinations to prove their knowledge and skills. Court reporting agencies that hire out certified court reporters give you peace of mind in knowing that your important legal documents will be free of errors and formatted correctly. When it comes to winning cases in court for your clients, no other substitute for certification is acceptable.
In past years, attorneys were often forced to travel to remote sites for depositions and to juggle conflicting schedules. Digital technology has streamlined the legal deposition process, eliminating much of the hassle of scheduling and traveling. By taking full advantage of technological innovations for your legal depositions in San Jose, you can free up invaluable time that would be best spent prepping your clients and preparing your case. Before scheduling your next deposition, talk to a court reporter about the technology available to you.
These days, lawyers are more likely to use videoconferencing systems than teleconferencing technology. However, teleconferencing still has its uses. For example, it allows you to depose a witness remotely and eliminate the possibility that the witness’ body language or other nonverbal cues may have a negative influence. For an event as important as a deposition, it’s crucial that you use state-of-the-art teleconferencing equipment; the conference call feature on your cellphone simply will not do.
Videoconferencing is the go-to medium for many lawyers who are deposing remote witnesses. In some cases, a lawyer might even want to present a videotaped deposition in court during the trial. This is especially critical if the witness might not be available for trial, such as in the case of terminal illnesses. A court reporting agency that provides deposition services can give you access to sophisticated videoconferencing equipment that will allow you to conduct the proceeding securely and smoothly. In the conference room, consider having multiple camera angles set up. For instance, you could have a camera pointed at the witness and a camera behind the witness. This allows you to instantly see if the witness is being given inappropriate cues.
It’s well worth your time to find a court reporting agency that integrates the LIVE-Depo system into their deposition services. The LIVE-Depo system is a sophisticated arrangement that allows all participants to engage with the proceeding in real time; no more frustrating delays are necessary. The LIVE-Depo system even allows for the creation of real-time transcripts, which can also be shared in real time.
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