Legal translations, certified translation services and professional translation services rendered by certified translators play an important role in obtaining and understanding evidence to be used in a foreign jurisdiction. American courts have a long history of providing assistance to foreign courts and litigants seeking evidence located in the United States. Under this system, there are at least three methods for a Russian court or litigant to compel the production of documentary or testimonial evidence from an American witness:
- The traditional process of using a letter rogatory. The letter rogatory must be transmitted through the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the U.S. Department of State and from there to the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The requested evidence will then be routed back to Russia via these same challenges. As two courts are involved, all requests and documents will require the appropriate foreign language translation.
- Through a letter of request done according to the procedures of the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters. Typically if a witness does not cooperate voluntarily, a letter of request procedure will be required. This is a judicial authority to obtain evidence which is intended for use in judicial proceedings, commenced or contemplated. All letters must have a foreign language translation into the language of the jurisdiction in which the document is being addressed.
- A request pursuant to U.S. federal statute 28 USC section 1782.
To read our language translation blog post “Legal Translation, Russian Document Translation, and Litigating International Cases in Russia”, click here. And to read our court interpreting and language translation blog “Professional Translation Services, Legal Translators and the Role of the Foreign Court in Russian Litigation and Arbitration”, click here.