Team Interpreting

Planning and coordination ensure a high level of accuracy for all courtroom interpretation.  The SDNY recognizes team interpreting as the industry standard. Absent unusual circumstances, two interpreters are assigned to any proceeding expected to last more than one hour. Two interpreters will  rotate every 30 to 45 minutes when doing simultaneous interpretatation, and every 30 to 60 minutes when interpreting for a foreign-language witness, as needed. The policy is designed to prevent error, since interpreter accuracy decreases markedly after 30 minutes when mental fatigue begins to interfere with the integrity of the interpreting process. (This is so regardless of how experienced or talented the interpreter may be. As recent studies have confirmed, interpreters themselves are often unable to recognize when the quality of their performance has begun to decline as a result of fatigue.) 

The Chief Interpreter is responsible for monitoring each day's calendar and having sufficient personnel on hand for adequate rotation.