Interpreted Depositions
and Objecting to Foreign Language Translations
in International Witness Depositions

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Deposition interpreters and deposition translators are commonly used in domestic, cross-cultural and international depositions. Objections are also common in such depositions. In the case Christman v. Ray, 42 I11. App., 111, involving parties from Switzerland and Illinois, a deposition was taken in Switzerland before a notary public, in accordance with Swiss law. All interrogatories and cross-interrogatories were given and answered to in French. At the time of the deposition, the attorney on behalf of the U.S. clients objected to the use of French, based on Section 18 of the Illinois Constitution, which states:

“All laws of the State of Illinois, and all official writings, and the executive, legislative and judicial proceedings shall be conducted, preserved and published in no other than English language.”

However, the court overruled the objection and the foreign language translation of the deposition was given to the jury. The court based its decision on its approval of the foreign language translation process, which sent all deposition questions to the commissioner, who translated each into French and sent to the witness, who then answered in French and returned the answer to the commissioner, who then provided a foreign language translation back to English. The objection stated that this process was, in essence, a judicial proceeding conducted in a language other than English. But, since this procedure followed Swiss law and – according to the objection it would be impossible to allow any non-English testimony in as evidence – the objection was overruled.

Contract our deposition translation and court interpreting firm to schedule a legal deposition translator/ interpreter for your deposition in Denver, Colorado, and elsewhere.

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