On January 1, 2024, the Supreme Court of Georgia’s “Amended Rules for the Use of Interpreters for Non-English-Speaking Persons” came into effect. This marks the first update to the rules since 2012. More than a simple update, however, this amendment completely overhauls Georgia’s interpreting practice in the courts, outlining categories of interpreters, education requirements, disciplinary practices, and more.
Non-English speakers face an uphill battle when it comes to navigating the legal system and operating in American courts. One of their most crucial resources will be interpreters, who help them understand what’s happening and help the courts understand them. The Standing Committee on Court Interpreters, the committee that drafted the amended rules, was stood up by the Supreme Court of Georgia in 2021 to help promote, educate, and train interpreters, but also to protect non-english speaking Georgians from fraudulent, predatory, or incompetent interpreters.
These new rules from the Supreme Court of Georgia also affect attorneys. As your advocate and guide for navigating the complex legal system, we work hard to understand your needs and concerns and to help you understand your options and the process. This dedication means that if there are complications with communication, we will slow down, avoid complex terminology, and truly take the time to get to know you. In many cases, however, there is simply no common language to work with. When this happens, we have to be able to rely on interpreters and translation services. As our connection with you, these interpreters are vital to us, and we take this process very seriously. The new rules only make it easier for us to find a trustworthy interpreter who we can work with to help you.
In our efforts to provide the best service, our offices are equipped with speakers of many different languages, all eager to help you understand the situation and find the perfect resolution. Our staff includes fluent speakers of Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi, and Punjabi, and we use this to our advantage in order to provide service to a wider range of clients. Wherever we can, we’re happy to provide you service in your own language. When we can’t, we embrace these new rules for interpreters as a way to ensure transparency and make legal matters more accessible for you.