Established in 1987, the SDNY Court Interpreters Office serves one of the busiest and most linguistically diverse Courts in the United States' federal District Court system. In a typical year we cover some 5000 interpreted events, both in-court proceedings and ancillary out-of-court events, in over 30 languages and involving over 100 contract interpreters in addition to our staff.
In conformity with the Court Interpreters Act, the SDNY Interpreters Office serves the court's mission of equal access by providing any party to a criminal action, irrespective of national origin, with the means to have all court proceedings simultaneously interpreted, and to enable any party to an action to communicate with court, counsel, jury, pretrial or probation officer.
The office's goals include the following:
To identify, recruit and use the best interpreters available for federal proceedings and trials;
To prepare or arrange for the prompt and accurate translation of court documents into English whenever necessary for the court or any of its departments;
To enable counsel to consult conveniently with their clients, to assist counsel in locating interpreters who can accompany them to outside correctional facilities;
To keep accurate statistics of interpreter service to the court and to track payments to contract interpreters;
To provide orientation, guidance and supervision to interpreters assigned to work in federal criminal cases;
To assist contract interpreters in obtaining necessary training and continuing education to improve their skills and further their careers in the legal field. To refer contract interpreters to other federal or state agencies who may require their services;
To maintain good relations with courtroom personnel and the legal community, to promote respect for and understanding of the interpreter's role in the justice system;
To collect and keep on file a broad array of information on the court interpreter's role, code of ethics, qualifications, and relevant research so as to serve as an information resource center for the courts, criminal justice practitioners, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, the academic community and the public;
As interpreters, to constantly improve our skills;
As staff interpreters, to serve as role models and to share knowledge and experience with others interested in the profession of judiciary interpreting.
Currently our staff consists of 7 interpreters:
Paula Gold, Chief Interpreter (Spanish)
Peter Anderson, Court Interpreter (Spanish; White Plains courthouse)
Erika de los Ríos, Court Interpreter (Spanish)
Humberto García, Court Interpreter (Spanish)
Mirta Hess Loedel, Court Interpreter (Spanish)
David Mintz, Court Interpreter (Spanish)
Francisco Olivero, Court Interpreter (Spanish)
Cristina Cortes, Administrative Assistant
Pierre Neptune, Administrative Assistant
As staff interpreters, we are proud to deliver the high calibre of service that our Courthouse has come to expect.
Paula Gold worked in the New York state courts before becoming federally certified in 1989, and joined the SDNY staff in 1993. She holds an MA in Spanish from NYU and an MA in Translation from the Graduate Center, CUNY. For 9 years she taught consecutive interpreting in Marymount Manhattan College's Continuing Education Program. She has also worked as an escort interpreter for the U.S. Department of State and has extensive experience as an interpreter trainer and test rater. She has lived in Spain and Peru. Paula was appointed as Chief Interpreter in 2012.
Peter Anderson was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. He attended the school of business administration at Eafit University in Medellín. He received a diploma in court interpreting from the Southern California School of Interpretation in 1994 and an A.A. in business management from Santa Monica College in 1996. He began working as freelance interpreter and translator in Los Angeles in 1991 and two years later was certified by the state of California. Approved as a Los Angeles County Superior Court translator in 1999, he earned federal certification in 1996 and since then has worked in LA and in New York. In 2008 he became a staff interpreter in the EDNY and in 2010 joined the staff interpreters in the SDNY.
Erika de los Ríos was born and raised in New York and lived in Argentina for 15 years, where she studied Economic Sciences at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and Universidad Nacional de La Rioja. Approved as a Court Interpreter for the states of NY and NJ in 2008, she began working as a freelance interpreter and later accepted a staff position in Union County Superior Court, in New Jersey. She received her federal certification from the Administrative Office of the Courts in 2010 and joined the staff interpreters in the SDNY in October 2014.
Humberto García was born and raised in Lima, Perú. He worked as contract and staff interpreter in the Superior Court of New Jersey for five years, before becoming federally certified and joining the Interpreters Office at the Southern District of New York in February of 2014. He holds a master's degree in Translation and Interpretation from Rutgers University, where he also taught undergraduate Spanish and Translation courses. Earlier in his career, Humberto worked as assignment editor and political writer at El Diario/La Prensa, the first Spanish language daily in the United States, based in New York.
Mirta Hess Loedel has been a staff interpreter since 1990. Before that, she worked for six years as a freelance interpreter and translator in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has a law degree from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires and a Masters in Business Administration from National University in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been admitted to the Bar in the state of New York and the federal courts of the United States.
David Mintz worked as a state court staff interpreter in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and as a freelance interpreter before joining the SDNY staff in 1994. A US District Court-certified interpreter since 1991, he was accredited in Spanish > English translation by the American Translators Association in 1990 and earned an M.A. in Spanish from Rutgers University in 1996. In the 1990s he was active in the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, serving on its Board of Directors and as President. He also develops and maintains web/database applications for the Interpreters Office.
Francisco Olivero was born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico. He majored in English literature at Rutgers University, where he also studied translation and interpretation. His career as a court interpreter began in 1990, when he began working as a freelance interpreter and translator in the State of New Jersey. After receiving his federal certification from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in 1998, he worked on a regular basis as a contract interpreter for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York for 15 years. In April of 2013, he joined the staff of the Interpreters Office in this federal district.
In addition to our full-time staff we rely on a roster of hundreds of contract interpreters to provide per diem interpreting services in Spanish and other languages.