Zoom simultaneous interpreting for lawyers.
A little known feature in Zoom is the simultaneous interpreting feature that comes with the webinar add-on or any of the higher paid plans.
Simultaneous interpreting is used when interpreting for parties, not witnesses. Whenever a witness is up on the stand, interpreters use consecutive interpreting as opposed to simultaneous. So the Zoom simultaneous feature is unnecessary for depositions and examinations. It is only useful in hearings, trials, mediations, arbitrations, or for third parties that have not been excluded from listening in on the proceedings.
Ever since we began doing Zoom hearings many courts and attorneys chose to strip the limited English speakers from their right to listen in on all the proceedings.
This has occurred in civil cases mostly and in hearings wherein, at the discretion of the court, the person did not need to know what was going on.
Do you see a problem here? I think this is a disaster waiting to happen and can already see the disputes that will arise from all the unhappy litigants alleging they did not understand important parts of the proceedings and that it, hence, affected their decision-making abilities and testimony.
Federal courts, on the other hand, started using Zoom simultaneous interpreting from the very beginning of the pandemic and federal criminal defendants have always had, at least in the districts I am familiar with, the benefit of simultaneous interpretation.
The feature is great. It allows all the meeting participants to select their preferred language as soon as they enter the room. This is an extra step that may be difficult for the technologically impaired. I suggest your client come to your office or have a technician available to resolve these issues.
Another problem with the feature is that it must be enabled from the settings menu before the meeting is scheduled and it will not work on instant meetings (meetings that are not scheduled).
Once enabled, the host can assign an interpreter upon scheduling the meeting (not recommended) or assign the interpreter after the meeting has begun.