Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transcripts Aren't Enough

Surprisingly, in most U.S. jurisdictions, court proceedings, which can dramatically affect people‟s lives or property, are rarely recorded accurately or in their entirety because only a small percentage of courts regularly create a video record of court proceedings. Of those courts that do, most do not preserve the video record but simply turn it into a transcript.
Keith A. Gorgos, Comment, Lost in Transcription: Why the Video Record Is Actually Verbatim, 57 Buff. L. Rev. 1057, 1058 (2009)(footnotes omitted). The author analyzes ways that transcripts can be inadequate records of trials -- for instance because the text does not include all the non-verbal cues a witness can give or because the court reporter simply did not capture the speech accurage -- and argues that video records be kept and made the official.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pro Bono Practice CLE: Hope & Help In Hard Times

As part of the ABA's National Pro Bono Celebration next week, the University of Washington School of Law and Seattle University School of Law are sponsoring a full-day CLE at Seattle U: Pro Bono Practice Workshops and CLE: Hope & Help In Hard Times on Friday, Oct. 30. Registration is just $25 for new lawyers, young lawyers, and recent graduates, $125 for others.

A reception at the end of the day will honor William H. Gates, Sr., who was awarded the American Bar Association Medal in August. WSBA president Salvador Mungia and Harry Schneider, Jr. (pro bono counsel in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld), will speak.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lower Awards for Spanish-Speaking Plaintiffs

Lost in Translation | ABA Journal - Law News Now, Jan. 2009:

After compiling 17 years of data from his own practice, Dallas lawyer Angel Reyes had a hunch that Spanish-speaking plaintiffs who required the use of a translator in the courtroom received smaller awards than those who did not.

Last fall Reyes and two professors from Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business confirmed his suspicion: Spanish speakers who relied on a translator during court testimony were 15 percent less likely to obtain a jury verdict that exceeded their last settlement offer than were English speakers.
The article is: Bradley T. Ewing, Angel L. Reyes, III, & James C. Wetherbe, Estimating the Effect of Non-English Speaking Hispanic on Personal Injury Jury Trial Outcomes, Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business, ISQS Working Paper (2008); it will appear in Social Science Quarterly.

Thanks: @djillpugh.