December 4, 2014

Certified Translation Issues Arising in Duty of Fair Representation Cases in Labor & Employment Law


When a court has evidence before it that prompts the comment "[t]he settlement agreement consists of an English and Spanish version of what hopefully is the same agreement [emphasis added]," it is apparent that the court has a problem with the way at least one of the parties has handled the conveyance of properly translated documents to the other.

In the realm of translation in the legal context, evidence rejected on the basis of inaccurate, questionable, or uncertified translation can be the difference between justice and an unfair result, in some cases even a travesty of justice.

In some cases, the court may allow the parties to cure the deficiencies by having the translated information certified as is, if the original translator is willing and able to do so, or have the inadequacies repaired in another way that is satisfactory to the court. In other cases, the court may decide not to give the parties this option and just exclude the evidence as unreliable.

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November 29, 2014

Legal Translation Services for Multilingual E-Discovery

multilingual ediscovery document translation.jpg We've blogged about the need for professional legal translation services during foreign language document review. In the digital age, our electronic footprints are everywhere. We use social media , such as Facebook and Twitter. We send emails. We purchase books, movies and wall art paintings online. Our browser tracks our website history. Needless to say, this has changed the nature of discovery for attorneys. Discovery is no longer limited to depositions, business correspondence on letterhead and contracts in a file. Discovery in the digital age involves searching a large part of the digital landscape.

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November 28, 2014

Legal Translation Services and Exporting to Japan

japanese translation services.jpg We've blogged about English to Japanese translation services in the context of intellectual property rights. Professional Japanese translation services are equally important in trading with Japan, which is an excellent country for a trading relationship. After the end of World War II, Japan and the United States have had strong business ties. Japan is the fourth largest purchaser of the US-made goods. The United States was the leading importer to Japan until 2009, when China took that spot. Japan's GDP is $5.8 trillion. The country's 128 million residents are highly educated and generally have large expendable incomes. Even though US firms export $70 billion in goods to Japan each year, doing business in Japan can be complicated. For example, the Japanese business people often operate on what is not said rather than what is said. They often say yes when they mean no. If you go out for dinner in Japan with a potential customer, you should not ask for a fork if chopsticks are awkward. Rather, you should clumsily use the chopsticks and your host will know to order a fork. It's considered impolite for a guest to request a fork.

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November 14, 2014

Legal Phone Interpreting Services and the Confrontation Clause

phone-interpreting-services.jpg We've blogged about the pros and cons of hospitals using Video Remote Interpreting services instead of on-site in-personal medical interpreter services. Some additional legal issues are likely to arise when the courts start using phone interpreters or VRI services instead of on-site in-person legal court interpreters. The Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution, in its most basic application, gives someone accused of a crime the right to "confront" any witnesses against him or her. This law applies to the federal courts as well as to the state courts through the Fourteenth Amendment. So the Confrontation Clause begs the questions: (1) what is defined as confrontation? and (2) what is defined as a witness? In a recent case interpreting translation of information to a defendant who does not speak English, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals attempted to provide its interpretation of these questions.

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November 12, 2014

Legal Translation Services and Zodiac Motion to Exclude Evidence

professional-legal-translation-services.jpg We've blogged about the importance of professional legal translation services for patent law. Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the "Board"), the Federal Rules of Evidence ("FRE") govern the admissibility of evidence in most cases. But the Board has traditionally been conservative about granting motions to exclude evidence, with less than 4 percent of 122 motions being granted. Instead the Board may allow the admissibility of such evidence to go to the weight of the evidence, rather than excluding it outright. One factor that may contribute to the low success rate of having motions to exclude granted could come from the fact the Board does not have to authorize these motions before they are filed.

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November 10, 2014

Positive Energy Feng Shui Wall Art Paintings Will Boost Law Firm's Profitability

Explosion Luck paintingThe Great Escape.jpg You inhabit the world around you. You absorb the energy and feel its positive and negative impact. If you are in the middle of a desert, you feel thirsty and hot. Heat energy swirls around you and you absorb it. If you're at the beach, you feel the cool breeze on your face and smell the salt in the air. The energy is around you and your body takes in that energy. The same is true of an interior environment. Inside the New York City's Guggenheim Museum, you feel the curves and the strength of the design. Frank Lloyd Wright said the Guggenheim was designed as the "temple of the spirit" because it was modeled after ziggurats built in ancient Mesopotamia. He knew the power and spiritual aspects of interior space. He wanted people to absorb the transformative energy of the artwork inside the Guggenheim along with the building's unique architecture. Taking this one step further, the same can be said for an interior law office workspace. When you're designing a law office space, you need to think about more than filing cabinets, desks and chairs. You also need an environment that exudes positive energy, and positive energy Feng Shui inspired wall art paintings and moving sand art pictures for office walls will help.

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November 5, 2014

Failure to Translate Employee Handbook Can Defeat Employer Defenses in Discrimination Claims

employee-handbook-translation.jpg The question of whether an employee has proper notice when an employee handbook is not available in that employee's language has been addressed in the courts on several occasions. Since numerous state and federal laws, including discrimination, labor issues, workers' compensation, and non-compete clauses, depend on the employee's understanding of the employer's rules and regulations, not supplying an employee with a handbook or manual that he or she can understand can be a crucial issue in an employer's ability to prove its case. Here are some recent examples of the importance of a properly and professionally translated employee handbook:

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November 3, 2014

Legal Translation Services and What You Need to Know about International Process

services of process translation.jpg In most court cases, serving court-related documents is relatively straightforward. You file the lawsuit and either mail the documents or have a registered agent of the court serve them. However, serving a person or company who is involved in a US lawsuit but located in a foreign country is more complicated and often requires the use of multilingual legal translation services. The serving process overseas is governed by a myriad of treaties and laws, including the 1965 Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (The Hague Service Convention), The Inter-American Service Convention, US law and The Foreign Services Immunities Act.

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October 21, 2014

Korean Legal Translation Services and Trading with South Korea

korean-legal-translation-services.jpg If you're looking to export, Korea might be a country to consider. Cultural and language barriers, however, can be a major impediment . Consider enlisting services of a legal English into Korean and Korean into English translation company early in the process. Over the past 50 years, the Korean economy has been completely transformed, going from one of the poorest in the world to being considered among the world's largest economies and a member of the G-20. It has the 15th largest GDP in the world and is the 12th largest purchasing power. The country's per capita income is around $23,000. South Korea is also technologically advanced with a highly educated workforce.

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October 9, 2014

Patent Translation Services and Protecting Your Patent Here and Abroad

patent-translation-serviices.jpg We've blogged about professional patent translation services in the context of the US patent law. You've worked hard to protect your patent in the United States, and have even filed patents in other countries - all part of a strategy to protect your intellectual property rights around the globe. After all, you've spend time and money developing and marketing the product and don't want to see anyone else profit from it Unfortunately, no matter how much you plan, if your patent is infringed, bringing an international patent infringement case is not easy. Therefore, it is essential that you develop a comprehensive strategy for protecting your patent no matter where the infringement occurred.

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September 5, 2014

Document Translation Services for International Estate Planning

estate-and-trust-documents-translations.jpg We've blogged about certified legal document translation in the context of the US wills and international estate planning . If your client is a resident non-citizen, married to a non-citizen, or has property located in more than one country, then careful estate planning needs to be done in order to minimize their tax burden. When dealing with an international estate, two specific issues must be addressed. First, you need to plan for the distribution of property at the time of death. The Last Will and Testament should address this by including a designated fiduciary who will administer the estate, identify the beneficiaries who will receive the property, and include appropriate trust arrangements for any beneficiary who is incompetent or too young to inherit the property. Second, you need to also plan for the possibility that one may become incapacitated prior to death. Here, your client should create a Durable General Power of Attorney naming a third-party as attorney-in-fact.

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August 13, 2014

Brazilian Portuguese Translation Services and Setting Up a Foreign Branch in Brazil


We've blogged about English into Brazilian Portuguese translation services in the context of exporting goods to South America. With a population of nearly 200 million and a sizeable middle class, the Brazilian market is an attractive option for many US companies. But before you pack your bags and head to Brazil to open a foreign branch, there are some important issues you should consider.

For starters, although the market may be attractive, the regulatory environment is anything but. In fact, Brazilian legislation makes it very difficult - even unattractive - to open a foreign branch. With restrictions on foreign capital and the need to obtain authorization from the government to launch operations, for some the hassle might be more than the benefits.

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July 30, 2014

Legal Translation Services for International Estate Planning


We've blogged about the need for legal translation services in the context of real estate ownership in a foreign country. International estate planning for international clients residing in the US also generates a need for certified translation of public documents and contracts. How does planning an estate for an expat living in the US differ from any other estate planning issue?

For starters, there is the issue of double (or even triple!) taxation. Many non-US citizens are uncertain as to what kind of taxes they could face. As a general rule, the answer is simple: an individual residing in the US has to pay income tax on their worldwide earnings. In addition, they could also be required to pay taxes on the worldwide earnings to their home country, their spouse's home country - or both.

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July 28, 2014

Arabic Translation Services and Real Estate Contracts in the UAE

united-arab-emirates-arabic-translation.jpg With the United Arab Emirates' economy once again roaring, many investors are looking to the UAE for property investment opportunities. However, there are several differences in the legal system and thus specific steps should be taken. For example, in the UAE only a registered broker licensed by the relevant authorities can market real estate. According to the law, both a seller and property developer must appoint a registered broker via a written agreement. As these agreements are likely to be in Arabic, a foreign language translation will be necessary.

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July 11, 2014

Legal Document Translation, Estate Planning and Foreign Property

estate-document-translation.jpg We've blogged about legal document translation services in the context of enforceability of US wills in foreign countries. When a client owns property located in a foreign country, several unique issues arise. For instance, there is the issue of taxation and, in particular, double taxation. This is because in some cases when a foreign property is transferred via an estate, US estate taxes will apply in addition to any tax due to the country where the property is located. In other words, when a US citizen who owns property in a foreign country dies, that property is subject to US estate tax. However, the US has estate tax treaties with numerous countries that allow the country where the property is located to tax the estate so long as it is the non-domiciliary country. When the domiciliary country taxes the estate of the foreign property, it must provide a credit to the estate to cover the foreign tax. Thus, if a US citizen dies owning property in country with an estate tax treaty with the US, then the foreign country's estate laws will apply. The US will then provide a credit in the US estate tax to cover these foreign taxes To ensure that double taxation is avoided, careful estate planning is required. When purchasing a property in a foreign country, it is essential that one understand both property and estate laws there. This will likely require a foreign language translation of relevant laws, regulations and the contract itself.

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