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Legal Series

This collection of webinar focuses on the topic area of legal interpreting.

The following is provided for each webinar:

    • Title,
    • Air date,
    • Presenter,
    • Description,
    • Target audience, and
    • Aavailable materials are provided.

Within this series, webinars are listed in chronological order from the most recent webinar to the oldest.

Want CEUs?

  • Find a CMP Approved Sponsor for an Independent Study through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Work with the Sponsor to design an Independent Study plan involving any of the webinars below

Legal Webinars

Identifying Hearing ASL-English Interpreters' Current Practice in Determining the Need of Deaf Interpreters for Court Proceedings

Original Air Date: August 3, 2016 
Presenter: Christopher Tester, MsC, CDI, SC:L

Description: This webinar will be a presentation of Christopher Tester's MA Thesis, titled: How American Sign Language-English Interpreters Who Can Hear Determine Need for a Deaf Interpreter for Court Proceedings. 

Opening Slide from Identifying...

This study investigated how and when hearing interpreters in the United States decide there is a need for a Deaf interpreter for court proceedings. Previous publications have strongly suggested that it is best practice to work with a Deaf interpreter for specific situations (NCIEC, 2007). The author utilized two frameworks: Brennan & Brown's (1997) Equality before the Law, and Mathers' (2009) Deaf interpreters in court: an accommodation that is more than reasonable to design a study that will bring to light the criteria used by hearing ASL-English interpreters to determine when a Deaf interpreter should be utilized. This research also explored the hearing interpreter's view of the Deaf interpreter and allowed for discussion of experience of working as the hearing member of a Deaf-hearing team in the courtroom.

Note: Due to tech issues, the webinar was re-recorded. This transcript is from the live webinar and contains the same information as the recording that is uploaded here plus the question and answer time from the live webinar.


Interpreting for Depositions

Original Air Date: December 30, 2013 
Presenter: Carla M. Mathers

Description: Depositions form a part of pre-trial discovery engaged in typically by attorneys in civil matters. When a Deaf witness is to be deposed, court interpreters will be engaged. Table interpreters may also be present to monitor the interpretation. Frequently, depositions are videotaped to preserve the interpretation in case of later challenge. Depositions can also be used as evidence during a trial to impeach a witness who testifies differently from their testimony during the deposition. Highly accurate and competent interpretation at depositions ensures that impeachment at trial does not become an examination into the quality of the prior interpretation at the deposition. This seminar will set forth the basic procedures involved in a deposition and will set forth the common ethical and staffing considerations for the interpreter hired to interpret for a deposition.

Target Audience: Interpreters interested in legal interpreting

PowerPoint Opening Slide from ...Depositions


Interpreting in Domestic Violence Matters

Original Air Date: August 19, 2013 
Presenter: Carla M. Mathers

Description: Domestic violence is a social problem that affects all sectors of society, and when Deaf people are involved, court and legal interpreters are called to interpret these high risk emotionally charged interactions. Many times, applications for protection from domestic violence are filed with little notice and implicate the need for emergency interpreting. From intake through final protective order hearings, this seminar will address the process and procedures generally followed as well as discuss the ethical and interpreting demands faced in these challenging matters.

Target Audience: Interpreters interested in legal interpreting

Opening Slide from ...Domestic Violence...


Interpreting in Family Court

Original Air Date: July 29, 2013
Presenter: Carla M. Mathers

Description: Interpreters often find themselves interpreting in a myriad of domestic matters from contested divorces to child custody cases to the division of marital property. Interpreting for family law cases presents unique demands procedurally and interpersonally particularly when interpreting between adverse parties.

PowerPoint Opening Slide from ...Family Court

Ethically, family law cases can be demanding and require quick thinking and action on the interpreter’s part. This session will explore the various matters an interpreter may be called to interpret, will explore the ethics involved in interpreting between hostile deaf parties, and will discuss specific legal vocabulary and definitions related to family law matters.

Target Audience: Interpreters interested in legal interpreting


Secrets Court Interpreters Should Share With Deaf Litigants

Original Air Date: July 20, 2013 
Presenter: Carla M. Mathers

Description: In legal interpreting seminars, it is often said that court interpreting is different from community interpreting. At times, these differences can pose ethical demands when interpreters feel constrained to conduct themselves in a manner that would be objectionable in a community setting.

Opening Slide from Secrets...

Court interpreters have an obligation to explain these conflicts and the rationale behind them to Deaf consumers in a considerate manner. This educational piece is a critical link to improve the relations between court interpreters and the communities we serve. This seminar will address the key protocol which presents a conflict between community and legal interpreting and suggest methods and rationale to be incorporated into the discussion with the Deaf consumer prior to interpreting in court.

Target Audience: Interpreters interested in legal interpreting


Legal Interpreting Basics

Original Air Date: June 17, 2013 
Presenter: Carla M. Mathers

Description: Legal settings constitute high risk interpreting. Many interpreters avoid legal interpreting because of the fear that they might do more harm than good if they interpret in a legal setting without the proper training and credentials. This seminar aims to assist generalist interpreters understand the path to legal interpreting, the type of skills and competencies necessary and the support available from the legal interpreting community.

Target Audience: Interpreters interested in legal interpreting nation-wide

PowerPoint Opening Slide from Legal...


Grant Recognition

The contents of the Project CLIMB website was developed under a grant (#H160D160001) from the Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education. Do not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

As of December 31, 2021, this grant project is no longer active or soliciting applications.
This website will remain available as a resource.

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