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Resources: Court Decisions

A variety of court decisions relating to cases in which deaf individuals were involved is presented. Additional legal cases are an available in the Resources for Legal Interpreting.

Reviewing and analyzing these decisions will help legal interpreters gain a deeper understanding of how the law is applied to various legal issues, the logic and reasoning used in making legal decisions, and the policies and procedures followed by the courts in making decisions. All of this assists an interpreter in learning how to work within the legal system more effectively.

Reading & Understanding Court Decisions offers a skill development activity guide to apply levels of inquiry to understand decisions made by the courts based on case law.

Sheneman provides an ASL overview of this resource section and how it can be used.

New to case law?   Watch "How to Read a Case" presented by Debra Patkin, the National Association of the Deaf's staff attorney.

Court Decisions Involving Deaf People:

Cases Related to Interpreting:

The following cases were compiled by the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers' 2009 Legal Interpreting Workgroup. A PDF version of these cases is available - NCIEC Case List.

Interpreter’s Oath/Qualification as an Expert on the Record



Objections Based on Plea Not Knowingly and Voluntarily Entered



  • State v. Alvarez, 797 N.E.2d 1043, 1044-45 (Ohio 2003)
  • Tamayo-Reyes v. Keeney, 926 F.2d 1492, 1495 (9th Cir. 1991)
  • State v. Nieves, No. 90-L-14-003, 1990 WL 208821 (Ct. App. Ohio Dec. 14, 1990)
Sixth Amendment Rights to Confrontation and Effective Assistance of Counsel



  • State v. Lopez, 114 Ohio St. 3d 1411 (Ohio 2007)
  • State v. Roldan, 855 A.2d 455, 448 (N.H. 2004)
  • State v. Razo, 157 Ohio App. 3d 578 (Ohio Ct. App. 2004)
  • People v. Rivera, 480 N.Y.S.2d 426 (1984)
  • Salazar v. State, 93 S.W.3d 339 (Tex App. Texarkana 2002)
  • People v. Resendes, 210 Cal. Rptr. 609 (Cal. App. 5 Dist. 1985)
  • Bednarski v. Bednarski, 366 N.W.2d 69 (Mich. App. 1985)
  • State v. Van Pham, 675 P.2d 848, 856 (Kan. 1984)
  • State v. Gonzalez-Gongora, 673 S.W.22d 811, 816 (Mo. App. 1984)
  • People v. Carreon, 198 Cal. Rptr. 843 (Cal. App. 5 Dist. 1984)
  • People v. Aguilar, 35 Cal. 3d 785, 787, 677 P.2d 1198 (Cal. 1984)
  • People v. Rioz, 161 Cal. App. 3d 905 (1984)
  • People v. Mata Aguilar, 35 Cal. 3d 785, 677 P.2d 1198 (Cal. 1984)
  • People v. Rivera, 390 N.E.2d 1259 (1st Dist. Ill. 1979)
Standard of Interpretation



How to Read a Case

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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