Episode #170 - Working with Non-Native English Speaking Witnesses

Guest: Oscar Lara, Shareholder - Rincon Law Group

Oscar Lara, Shareholder at Rincon Law Group, joins Steve Wood, Ph.D. and Bill Kanasky, Jr., Ph.D. to talk about translators for non-native English speakers or foreign-born witnesses and the challenges of working with interpreters during witness preparation and for testimony. Much of Oscar's  practice involves working with many Spanish-speaking witnesses and he shares the challenges of working with these witnesses, of using interpreters during witness prep, and the difficulties associated with different dialects. Bill, Steve and Oscar talk about how the language barrier can also be a challenge for jurors in a trial setting and the additional difficulties for witnesses who are able to speak English but it might be more broken English or speak with a heavy accent so they are not great communicators in English. The group also talks about regional and language differences in the jury pool and how to assess jurors on their ability to comprehend English during jury selection, the irrational fears of foreign-born witnesses, and the importance of building trust with these witnesses.