Professional Translation Tips on Managing Large Scale Foreign Language Discovery

January 5, 2008

With the increasing reliance on e-Discovery, practicing attorneys are finding themselves involved in ever-growing amounts of multilingual discovery documents. As more and more contracts and business partnerships involve cross-border arrangements, much of this discovery is foreign language discovery. Trying to manage and organize this foreign language discovery can be a daunting task. However, by keeping a few simple pointers in mind, large-scale foreign language discovery can go from being a big mess to a beneficial and well organized negotiating and litigation tool.

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Here are two basic guidelines:

Take the Team Approach to Foreign Language e-Discovery

Training and using your legal support staff to act as an E-Discovery Readiness Response Team can ensure you receive foreign language e-discovery in a manner that is already organized and ready to use. Such a team will be comprised of associate attorneys, foreign language translators and IT professionals and thus capable of evaluating new e-discovery technology, providing timely foreign language translations, implementing litigation holds as needed, reviewing and enforcing document retention polices, and overseeing the response to all discovery requests.

Have an E-Discovery Ethics Policy in Place

Along with E-Discovery come new ethical considerations, especially when dealing with large-scale discovery. Having an ethics policy in place before the discovery project commences will help prevent any problems from arising.

When developing an ethics policy, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 502, which was written specifically for large-scale e-discovery and addresses limitations on waiver of the attorney-client privilege and work product protection, must be the guiding principle.


Click here to read our earlier legal translation blog post, "Foreign Language e-Discovery Translation: Human Translation Versus Machine Translation", and here to read "Language Translation Services, Electronic Discovery, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure".

Contact our legal translation firm to hire experienced U.S.- licensed attorneys, JDs, foreign-educated attorneys, and translators for on-site and off-site foreign language document review, and to obtain other professional foreign language services for your litigation team.