Orangeville lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar says the outspoken statement by a Texas judge that her court endangered the rights of non-English speakers and was “a stumbling block to a better justice system” is a cautionary tale of how legal practitioners who work with ethnic communities could stand in the way of a client’s constitutional right to an interpreter.

“For those lawyers who speak different languages, they should keep in mind that their client has the right to a third-party, impartial interpreter during the proceedings,” she tells

“An interpreter does not interfere with a lawyer’s work. An interpreter assists both the lawyer and his/her client to communicate with each, if necessary, and others in the court system, and it frees up a lawyer, multilingual or otherwise, to focus on his/her work as the lawyer.”

See: Intersecting Law & Languages

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