Court Interpreters,
Legal Translators for Litigators and Attorneys,
and Alien Tort Statute Accomplice Liability Cases

Legal Translation Services for Alien Tort Statute Cases

We’ve blogged about competent human translation services, online legal language translations and in-person courtroom translators, as well as about legal translation of legal documents and professional translation services in the context of product safety and Alien Tort Claims Act.  According to the Alien Tort Statute’s Accomplice Liability clause, when a corporation operating abroad either conspires with, or aids and abets, an oppressive regime in violating human rights, victims can seek redress in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute.


However, there is a split in the courts as to what standard of pleading to apply. Some courts have chosen to apply a liberal pleading standard, while others have opted for a heightened pleading standard aimed at combating frivolous lawsuits.

Although sometimes the liberal standard has proved to be too liberal, there is a problem with the heightened pleading standard being too stringent. For example, the heightened pleading standard requires proof of the conspiracy at the pleading stage, regardless of the existence of plausible claims of conspiracy.

In other words, the plaintiff is often never even given a chance to conduct the necessary level of discovery needed to establish a legitimate claim. This, of course, becomes even more of an issue as the Alien Tort Statute involves foreign parties and, thus, foreign language evidence requiring substantial foreign language translations – all of which requires more time and effort.  Under the heightened pleading standard, this essential time is not provided.

See Nichols, Amanda Sue.  Alien Tort Statute Accomplice Liability Cases: Should Courts Apply the Plausibility Pleading Standard of Bell Atlantic v. Twombly? Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, p. 2177, 2008.

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