Order Out of Chaos: Managing Large Translation Projects for Law Firms
Alison Sondhaus Carroll, owner, Commonwealth Language Services Ltd., Arlington, Virginia; and Lillian Clementi, freelance French> and German>English translator, Arlington, Virginia

"We have about five boxes of documents. Can you translate them by the end of the month?" This session will present practical strategies for assembling and managing a team of freelancers in the pressured and often frantic world of litigation, based on the presenters' shared experience with patent infringement cases. Topics will include on-site services, document tracking, quality control, outsourcing, and client education. A brief section on terminology research and glossary management will include translation problems encountered in French>English patent litigation, but the session is designed to be useful in handling large legal projects in any language.

LAW-2 (S, 10:15-11:00am) - ALL LEVELS
A Brief Comparison between Common Law and Civil Law
Kirk Petersen, translator, Eldorado Springs, Colorado

Common law is often considered judge-made law, where judges rely on the precedence of prior court cases. Civil law places priority on the Code statutes enacted by the legislature. Historically, the Common law developed in medieval Britain, where judges riding circuit through different local jurisdictions relied on the law common to all jurisdictions as described in their own case opinions. The Civil law traces its origins through the Napoleonic Code (1804) and back to the Romans' Code of Justinian (AD 529). Nevertheless, legal systems have become complex things, and they overlap each other to a high degree. Consequently, generalized distinctions between them are of minor importance for the modern translator.

LAW-3 (S, 3:30-5:00pm) - ALL LEVELS
Freelance Interpreter Training 101
Agustin Servin de la Mora, senior court interpreter, Orlando, Florida; and James William Plunkett, senior court interpreter, Tampa, Florida

Most freelance interpreters used in court room settings in the U.S. have no formal training to learn how to cover their assignments efficiently. When they tell us that they are bilingual, we take their word for it. The problem starts when they "freeze" in front of that stern-looking judge, telling them to "please interpret everything." In this presentation, you will learn of the results obtained by the Court Interpreter Centers of Tampa and Orlando, Florida in giving prospective interpreters a very effective "crash" course to prepare them for court. The experience they have gained has helped eliminate embarrassing moments in court and legal problems. The speakers will offer pointers on how to train prospective freelance interpreters to get ready for an assignment, understand protocol, and interact with the judiciary. A video will show how a mock trial is presented during an orientation for prospective interpreters.


For more information, contact ATA,
phone: (703) 683-6100; fax: (703) 683-6122;
or e-mail: