The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 19

NOTES
1
that because law is a social
construct that is intrinsically
tied to a society's beliefs,
customs, history, and-of
course-language.28
This paradigm of nonEnglish
speakers being
" similarly situated " to
English speakers has been
brandished to further and
justify an institutionalized
indifference toward LEP
defendant's and litigants'
ability to understand.
By extension, judiciary
interpreters have been
perpetuating performance
standards that fail to provide
LEP individuals in court with
the meaningful comprehension
they are constitutionally
entitled to receive.
One Last Thought
What I have found during my
research on this topic is that
the " default standard of care
is the obligation to take
'reasonable care'.... " 29
Reasonable care for judiciary
interpreters should include
factoring into their renditions
the LEP defendants and
litigants' ability to
understand what is being
interpreted. As Roseann
Dueñas Gonzalez and her
colleagues stated in
Fundamentals of Court
Interpretation: Theory, Policy,
and Practice: " It is the most
proficient interpreters and
those with the most profound
knowledge of legal processes,
procedure, and terminology
who are best suited to
communicate legal concepts
in words that are
comprehensible to an LEP
person who may have limited
understanding of the U.S.
justice process. " 30
This, I
submit, is the judiciary
interpreter's duty of care.
www.ata-chronicle.online
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Definition of Duty of Care found on Law.com.
Definition of Standard of Care found on
Law.com.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Cornell Law
School Legal Information Institute).
Executive Order 13166 (Civil Rights
Division, U.S. Department of Justice).
Sixth Amendment (Cornell Law School
Legal Information Institute).
14th Amendment (Cornell Law School
Legal Information Institute).
5th Amendment (Cornell Law School Legal
Information Institute).
Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance
Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition
Against National Origin Discrimination
Affecting Limited-English-Proficient Persons
(Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of
Justice, June 2002).
9
Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance,
#11 (Civil Rights Division, U.S.
Department of Justice, June 2002).
10
Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance,
#10. (Civil Rights Division, U.S.
Department of Justice, June 2002).
11
Standards for Language Access in Courts
(Standing Committee on Legal Aid and
Indigent Defendants, American Bar
Association, February 2012).
12
Dueñas Gonzalez, Roseann, Victoria
Vasquez, and Holly Mikkelson.
Fundamentals of Court Interpretation:
Theory, Policy, and Practice (Carolina
Academic Press, 2012).
13
14
Ibid, 15.
See, for example: Pöchhacker, Franz.
Introducing Interpreting Studies (Routledge,
2004/2022); Hale, Sandra Beatriz. The
Discourse of Court Interpreting: Discourse
Practices of the Law, the Witness, and
the Interpreter (John Benjamins, 2004);
Monzó-Nebot, Esther, and Melissa
Wallace. " Research Methods in Public
Service Interpreting and Translation
Studies: Epistemologies of Knowledge and
Ignorance, " FITISPOS International Journal
(University of Alcalá, 2020).
15
Dueñas Gonzalez, Roseann, Victoria
Vasquez, and Holly Mikkelson.
28
24
20
16
17
Fundamentals of Court Interpretation:
Theory, Policy, and Practice (Carolina
Academic Press, 2012), 14.
Ibid.
United States ex Rel. Negrón v. State of
New York, 434 F.2d 386 (2d Cir. 1970).
Negrón at 387.
18 Negrón at 387.
19 Negrón at 390.
The Bilingual Courts Act, Hearings Before
the Subcommittee on Improvements in
the Judicial Machinery of the Committee
on the Judiciary (United States Senate,
Ninety-Third Congress, Second Session,
on S. 1724, October 10, 1973, and
February 5, 1974).
21
28 U.S. Code § 1827-Interpreters in
Courts of the United States (Cornell Law
School Legal Information Institute).
22
William Westphal, General Counsel, U.S.
Senate. Subcommittee Hearings, 111.
23
William E. Foley, Deputy Director,
Administrative Office of the United States
Courts, Subcommittee Hearings, 105.
(See Note 20 above.)
Cesar Perales, Executive Director, Puerto
Rican Legal Defense Fund. Subcommittee
Hearings, 71. (See Note 20 above.)
25
J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant Attorney
General, Civil Rights Division.
Subcommittee Hearings, 113. (See Note
20 above.)
26
27
Ibid, 115.
Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 216, 102 S.
Ct. 2382, 2394, 72 L. Ed. 2d 786 (U.S.
Supreme Court, 1982).
See, for example, Bhatia, Vijay K., and
Aditi Bhatia. " Legal Discourse across
Cultures and Socio-Pragmatic Contexts, "
World Englishes (2011), 481-495.
29
Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners
Assn., Inc., 63 Cal.App.5th 917, 934-
935 (2021).
30
Dueñas Gonzalez, Roseann, Victoria
Vasquez, and Holly Mikkelson.
Fundamentals of Court Interpretation:
Theory, Policy, and Practice (Carolina
Academic Press, 2012), 14-15.
Janis Palma is a certified English>Spanish interpreter and translator (National
Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) and a federally certified
judiciary interpreter with 42 years of experience. She has an MA in literature and
history and a Master in Legal Studies (MLS) from Arizona State University. She
has been involved with the education of judiciary interpreters since 1986, writes
often on the subject, and recently created a nonprofit to further advocate for the professional
development of interpreters in general. palmajanis88@gmail.com
American Translators Association 19
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https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780890892947/Fundamentals-of-Court-Interpretation-Second-Edition https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780890892947/Fundamentals-of-Court-Interpretation-Second-Edition https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780890892947/Fundamentals-of-Court-Interpretation-Second-Edition https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780890892947/Fundamentals-of-Court-Interpretation-Second-Edition http://www.ata-chronicle.online

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