Legal Translations for Local Attorneys

Hometown Lawyer as International Litigator

We’ve blogged on the importance of an accurate legal translation of the representation agreement between an English-speaking attorney and his non-English-speaking client. Say you practice law in Small Town U.S.A. You are the local town prosecutor helping out the court one evening a week with traffic offenses and the odd minor domestic violence incident. You handle the everyday slip-and-fall case. You have some experience drafting the last will and testament for your next-door neighbor. You are a generalist who is ready to take virtually any local case that crosses your office door.

In this day and age, your existence as a lawyer in a rural or small town in America’s heartland does not remove the possibility that you could also be an international lawyer as well. Now, that might seem like a contradiction in terms. You may think, “Hey wait, an international lawyer is someone who jets around the world, represents massive global corporations, and lives in a big city.” Not so.

The global reach of products these days means that any small-time commercial litigation case can take on an international flavor, and any divorce case might end up crossing international borders.

Legal Translations for the Kidnapped in Austria

In one case, a young lawyer was representing a man, we’ll call him Jack, in a divorce matter in which custody was an issue for the couple’s 7-year-old daughter. At the outset of the couple’s separation, Jack enjoyed significant visitation time with his daughter, whom he adored.

Then, Jack’s ex-wife, we’ll call her Jill, negotiated with Jack to take the daughter on a trip to see Jill’s extended family in Austria. The trip would be for one month. A month came and went, and Jill decided that she would keep the daughter with her in Austria. Frantic, Jack went to the young lawyer, asking how he can get see his daughter again.

The otherwise run-of-the-mill custody case has now become something that would need to be possibly litigated in both the U.S. and Austria. It would likely require a determination regarding a Child Abduction agreement, if any, that the U.S. has with Austria. It would also likely require a lawsuit before a federal court under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.

The case will now, suddenly, require the use of a legal translator to ensure that any legal documents that need to be filed in the German language for Austria are appropriately translated.

If you are a local family lawyer who is taken by surprise by a case that requires a court translator, then consider the services of a professional, reliable legal translation service All Language Alliance, Inc. Call us to learn about how we can take the fear and confusion out of legal translations, so you can focus your practice on the family case you need to handle.

Legal Documents Translation Online for Products Liability Discovery

You are handling a small medical device case for an older couple who run the local country store. The complaint is filed, it has been answered, and now you are waiting for discovery. The answers to your interrogatories and document requests finally arrive at your office and – surprise – all of the documents are in French.

While you sued a foreign manufacturer, you never realized that most of the internal company information you requested from the medical device company would be in French, not English. You also realize that there will be a language issue for a large majority of this case. If the internal documents are in French, it is highly likely that there will be witnesses and subsequent evidence coming up in French or even another language.

Given that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are of little help in mandating translations of certain documents, you need to get fluent in French really fast, or figure out a way in which to translate the French documents, so you can continue litigating the case.

Again, the best way to move forward is to outsource the task that takes you away from practicing law. A reliable legal translation service is the way to go. Fluent in many languages and dialects, the linguists at All Language Alliance, Inc. can help you figure out the discovery dilemma you may face.

Legal Translators Can Help a Local Attorney Engage in International Litigation

The above examples are meant to put a fine point on the idea that being an attorney who only practices in one city, county, or courthouse does not necessarily mean that you will not face an international legal issue. The nature of legal practice is always changing. Being an expert in only one jurisdiction may not be an asset for today’s lawyer.

Today, even a solo practitioner needs to have the ability to know where to look, or whom to ask, when a case turns global. That is where high quality, expert legal translators come into play.

All Language Alliance, Inc. provides world-class legal translation services for law firms, solo practitioners, and in-house counsel alike. Those seeking our services are not only spread nationwide, but also come from many parts outside the U.S. We have such a reach because we specialize in legal translation services for litigation, and employ legal translators who know law, legal systems, legalese, and legal terminology. Email us today to learn more about what we can do to make your job easier.

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