We’ve blogged about language barriers that can be overcome with the use of professional court interpreter and language translation services in the practice of international law.
According to the article’s author, Philip M. Berkowitz, the key is to understand what you don’t know. His personal advice is to never advise a client on matters arising under foreign law.
“I’m a New York lawyer. I won’t advise on New Jersey law, so I’m not going to advise on the law of the European Union,” says Berkowitz, who chairs the international labor and employment specialty team at Nixon Peabody. “I have a general familiarity with those laws. I can give a good speech on data privacy in Europe, and I can talk about the conflicts between the Sarbanes-Oxley hotline requirements and how they may conflict with the laws of France and Germany and the European Union generally. But I’m ultimately going to point my client in the direction of a European lawyer.”