First time doing court interpreting. Custody Review case. Help!
Thread poster: praviles

English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 28, 2007

Hello everyone!

I have been working for a small local interpreting agency (at schools, law offices, clinics...).

I decided to try my luck at court interpreting (in NC, USA). First step, to take the AOC training and written exams. I passed! Next step, the oral exam, which is the one I am most nervous about. Most people in my AOC training class had court interpreting experience. I have none.

Next week, I get my very first opportunity. (I was hoping for something like trafficicon_smile.gif) It is a custody review case. The parents will be there, with their respective lawyers, the DSS attorney will be there and, of course, the judge. I have everyone's names. Each child has a case number, I have those as well as their names. (3 attorneys, parents, judge = 6 people!!)

I am not sure what else I need to know in order to prep for this case.
Also, I assume that this will be a situation where I will be sitting next to the NES person at a table along with his/her/their??? attorney.

If anyone can offer any sort of advice, suggestions... I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you!

[Edited at 2007-07-28 19:14]


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Should be OK Jul 28, 2007

I've done a lot of those kinds of cases, not to mention that I have also worked in Child Protective Services. Such hearings tend to be less formal than many. I would recommend trying to get a least some case background by approaching the caseworker before the hearing, who hopefully gets there a bit early as is usual practice. Any of the attorneys can also help you with case background.

Getting the names and knowing the players is very good strategy.

Yes, you are sure to sit next to the non-English speaker and interpret the proceedings for that person, and you might be called to interpret for them with that person's attorney before the hearing, or if the person testifies.

It it's a review then the client has been in the system a while and should have some understanding of it, and there should not be any heated controversy. Generally at that stage clients are cooperative.

Be sure to get a good spot in the courtroom where you can hear well, it may or may not be with the attorney; and did I say to get there early?

It should go well.


Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:47
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Teminology Jul 29, 2007

Search sample documents and similar cases in the Web for specific terminology. You will have the upper hand if you know it beforehand; it will make things easier and smoother for all.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2007-07-29 15:13]

[Edited at 2007-07-29 15:13]


English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you for the advice. Jul 30, 2007

Thank you Henry and Luisa for the advice. I'll be sure to keep those in mind.

Re: sample documents on the Web. I have been searching and have not had any luck. Would you recommend a website where I could find sample documents?

Again, thank you!


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First time doing court interpreting. Custody Review case. Help!

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