Over the Phone Legal Interpreting Services
Earlier we blogged about the admissibility of the telephonic expert witness testimony by a foreign language translator/ court interpreter. One key factor in a court’s decision to allow telephonic testimony is whether or not the witness is available. Thus, in order to admit foreign language translator testimony via telephone, a party must sufficiently demonstrate that in fact the foreign language translator/ interpreter is “truly unavailable”.
According to the Federal Rules of Evidence pertaining to admitting telephonic evidence, a witness is truly unavailable when it is shown that he/ she is unable to attend the hearing. Although the trial court has great discretion in determining whether or not a witness is able to attend a hearing, a common theme in many rulings is that a witness is truly unavailable when he or she lives outside the jurisdiction, and the need to travel to the hearing would be unreasonably burdensome to the witness.
See Beltran-Tirado v. INS, 213 F.3d 1179, 1186 (9th Cir. 2000); In re S.B., 639 N.W.2d 78, 83-84 (Neb. 2002); State v. Rosengren, 199 Ariz. 112, 116 14 P.3d 303, 307 (App. 2000).