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News Releases

03/07/2016 - MACI on Aifang Ye vs. US 


On March 7, 2016, Attorney Alan Rom, in conjunction with attorneys from the law firm WilmerHale, filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of MACI with the United State Supreme Court. The case, Aifang Ye vs. US, involves a statement created through an interpreter, submitted as evidence against a defendant, Aifang Ye.The issue on appeal is whether Aifang Ye has the right to call the interpreter into court to be examined. We at MACI believe that she does, as does the 11th Circuit. However, the 9th Circuit, where the case was heard, holds to the position that an interpreter or translator is a mere conduit, whose function is so mechanical and accurate that, in effect, the defendant is seeking to cross examine herself. 

As you may know, the conduit theory of interpretation has been rejected by several authorities on interpretation. This case is also of interest to us because it involves telephonic interpreting. The Trial Court is using Language Line instead of in-person, certified interpreters more and more often, and in many cases this is detrimental to the quality of interpretation in the court system. Aifang Ye’s case is at the stage or requesting certiorari, meaning that the attorney is requesting that the case be taken up and heard by the United States Supreme Court.

Click to read Aifang Ye case documents.

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