Using Interpreters at Depositions

Today I had to take the deposition of a defendant driver in a car accident injury case in Prince George’s County. This gentleman spoke only Spanish, so the deposition had to be conducted through a court-certified interpreter.

This was not a new experience for me, so I knew what to expect- it would be a pain. I hate these kinds of depositions because they take forever. Counting the interpreter, everything gets said at least twice.

At the end of the deposition, I asked the interpreter if there is anything I can do next time to make the deposition go more smoothly.

What she told me was a reminder of something I already knew, which is to always address the witness in the first person, rather than saying to the interpreter “[a]sk him if….” Apparently I did this once during the deposition without really thinking about it. A valuable lesson for an otherwise uneventful Tuesday.

  • For more information on interpreters in a legal setting, here’s the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translator’s site.