Law Language Document Translation Services of Foreign Evidence
Legal translations of foreign language evidence are important to litigators. During cross-cultural litigation involving legal aspects from both the United States and a foreign country, litigators and attorneys in general are often required to prove foreign points of law.
The following are general rules governing the use of foreign law as evidence:
- When no party establishes the foreign law and the court does not take judicial notice of it, it is presumed that the foreign law is identical to the law of the local jurisdiction. Olgetree v. Crates, 364 S.W.2d 431 (Tex. 1963).
- If a party fails to give notice and prove the foreign law, then the foreign law may not be applied. Exxon Corp v. Breezevale Ltd., 82 S.W.3d 429 (Tex. App. 2002).
- If the court takes judicial notice of a foreign law, then the party is not required to present evidence proving the law to the finder of fact. Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 201.
- If proving a foreign law is required, the party raising the issue of foreign law must:
- Give notice in the pleadings or through reasonable written notice within 30 days of trial and furnish all parties with copies of the written materials intended to be used in proving the foreign law. James v. State, 546 S.W.2d 306 (Tex. App. 1977)
- If foreign language documents are used as supporting evidence, the text of all foreign language documents must contain an English translation. Id.
- All foreign language translations must be certified, showing that a certified foreign language translator did the translation and that the foreign language translation is both fair and accurate. (Rules of Evidence 901 and 902)