Legal Translation for International Pre-Trial Discovery

Legal Translators for Cross-Border Litigation

Certified legal translator services are often required for cross-border litigation. Litigating a case internationally comes with many challenges. First and foremost, you are dealing with case strategy and the relevant laws and regulations that put parameters around your legal position. Those issues alone can consume a lawyer’s resources in litigation.

However, when you are in an international forum, you take on a whole new set of challenges. Some of those challenges include conflicting international laws or rules, process differences in international courts, and just the logistical basics of handling something that spans businesses and employees in several countries and across various computer systems.

Of course, the main aspect of international litigation is handling the translation of legal documents. Particularly with discovery, you are having to translate a large volume of documents into one, or possibly two other languages. That is where a skilled, reliable legal translator comes into play.

We welcome you to learn more about the benefits of professional, accurate-the-first time translations provided by All Language Alliance, Inc. We take great pride in delivering top-notch translations of any legal document. Email us today for more information.

Pre Trial Discovery Conflicts Between the US and the EU Countries

As legal translation professionals, we come across some of the cutting-edge issues that confront international litigators. The issue that is most on the minds of many attorneys handling international matters is the conflict in discovery rules between the United States and the European Union.

In short, the United States favors a very open, all-inclusive discovery process. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure lean on the side of liberal disclosure of relevant documents. European countries, by and large, have a distinct privacy component to their discovery processes. That difference in tone or emphasis can lead to conflicts in the following ways.

• Conflict between U.S. discovery rules and data privacy rules in the European Union,
• Conflict between U.S. discovery rules and the Hague Convention, and
• Conflict between U.S. discovery rules and European “blocking statutes.”

Hopefully, this article can give you a brief window into what types of discovery issues you may have to deal with when handling an international lawsuit. Of course, for more detail, and for comprehensive legal translation services, you can contact All Language Alliance, Inc.

Pretrial U.S. Discovery vs. European Union Data Privacy Rules

As you may know, the European Union has an impressive track record of emphasizing data privacy. Back in 1995, the European Union Data Protection Directive Regulation made data privacy a fundamental human right and required that European Union members provide privacy protection for the processing of personal data, with broad definitions of the terms “personal data,” and “processing”. In fact, the definitions of those terms are given broader meaning in the European Union than in the United States.

In May 2018, the European Union Data Protection Directive was replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The GDPR picks up the baton from the Directive with even more data privacy protection, particularly now that European Union countries have better information on how companies try to use and exploit customer, or potential customer, data. The data protections apply to any company that processes the data of European Union citizens.

The important take away here is that U.S. discovery rules, which tend not to be as concerned with data privacy, may run headlong into disclosure issues based on the GDPR restrictions.

U.S. Evidence Gathering vs. the Hague Convention

When a U.S. firm wishes to obtain evidence in a foreign country, another conflict that may arise is the Hague Convention on Taking Evidence (“Hague Convention”). The 1972 Hague Convention has specific procedures for the taking of discovery in transnational litigation. While the U.S. has signed on to the Hague Convention rules, the rules can be serious roadblocks to any pre-trial discovery, which is the staple of any U.S.-based litigation.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Hague Convention is not the required or exclusive way in which to obtain discovery. Yet, there may be occasions, based on the Court’s balancing test, whereby a court will give deference to a foreign country’s discovery rules when reasonable to protect a foreign litigant from burdensome discovery requests.

Pre-Trial U.S. Discovery vs. European “Blocking Statutes”

Many European Union countries have enacted so-called “blocking statutes,” the purpose of which is to limit the production of documents on top of the limits in the Hague Convention. The blocking statute can go so far as to result in criminal penalties for entities trying to conduct discovery in the country with the blocking statute in place.

The experienced legal translators at All Language Alliance, Inc. have assisted many attorneys in their transnational litigation practice, and we can do the same for your global law practice. Contact us today to learn how our legal translation services for attorneys, lawyers and law firms can support your international litigation.

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