Language in litigation

As more businesses are expanding overseas, global litigation cases are on the increase. In any litigation case, the e-Discovery process is vital, but can become very challenging when dealing with different groups of people from various parts of the world.

This can mean a whole host of datasets, in multiple languages, which all need dealing with quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. So how can you work with your language service provider to reduce complexities around language in litigation?

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The discovery data processing phase

After data has been collected (from the internet, witness statements, servers, social media, presentations etc), it needs to be processed. The case team will identify some keywords and phrases that will be sought out in the supporting material, and when there are foreign language files, your language service provider can support the generation and classification of non-English keywords. From here, the linguists extract the relevant data from the non-English documents, and provide these to the case team for the next phase.

The e-Discovery review phase

Your language team can provide a summary of their findings, in English. If you’re not using a language service provider during the processing stage, you’re probably using foreign language reviewers to handle the non-English content involved in your case. This results in much higher costs and lengthier turnaround times, and foreign language reviewers are not trained to translate, so the translations produced could not be certified, and therefore not acceptable in court.

The production phase

Now the case teams decide which documents contain the most relevant pieces of information, and only these will then go through a full, professional translation. By identifying the relevant documents at this stage, rather than translating absolutely everything up front, you’ll save a substantial amount of time, resource and money.

Professional linguists who specialise in legal translations will then support the certification or notarisation of the documents, before they are submitted for disclosure in the native language.


How can language technology help in litigation?

Translation memory

Translation memory - Language in litigation

Stores translated keywords and phrases to improve accuracy and speed.

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PDF processing

SmartMATE PDF - Language in litigation

Evaluates and converts PDF documents into editable files, making translation more efficient.

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Machine translation

Machine translation - Language in litigation

Can be used to gain a general understanding or ‘gist’ of documents quickly and cost-effectively.

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Language detection

Language discovery - Language in litigation

Highlights and identifies languages within a document.

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Platform integration

Transfer - Language in litigation

Connecting systems simplifies the process, quickly, inexpensively and securely.

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Working with a language service provider right from the initial stages of the litigation process is vital for success in global cases. It is necessary to find a balance between using specialised linguists and tailored technology in order to meet deadlines and keep costs down, but also provide the quality your clients deserve and have the right to.

The more organisations continue to do business overseas, the greater need there will be for international litigation cases, so it’s time to put your language needs at the forefront of your litigation strategy, and time for language service providers to react and innovate to the lack of geographical boundaries.


Translation in the eDiscovery process infographic

ediscovery language services

We provide professional legal translation and interpreting services for DLA Piper, to assist with transcripts, contracts, court orders and witness statements,

We’ve been working in partnership with one of the UK’s leading law firms for over 3 years, translating a variety of documents the law firm’s client base.

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