Multilingual Legal Translation and The Rules of Evidence

We’ve blogged about multilingual legal translation and document review services during e-Discovery. One question often arises during international eDiscovery: Does a party producing a non-US document have a duty to provide a foreign language translation?

Although in general this is common practice, in some jurisdictions the courts have ruled that such a duty does not exist. In Grundstad v. Ritt, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5111 at 7 (N.D. Ill. 1998), the court held that ‘the producing party is not obligated to translate foreign documents into English’ and that ‘the documents must be produced as they currently exist, with the opposing party having to bear any cost of translation if necessary’.

In Galliano v. Stallion, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 04829 (N.Y. June 8, 2010), the court held: ‘Defendants are not obligated to provide English translations of the documents if such translations do not exist in the documents produced to the Government entities’.

However, this is not always the rule and perhaps should be phrased as being the exception. More often than not, the offering party will provide the foreign language translation of the document as part of the authentication process.

Up Next: Certified Multilingual Legal Translation, Foreign Law and Judicial Notice

All Language Alliance

by Legal Translator & Court Interpreter

New Default