Letters to the Editor

Letters: The Good News

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Regarding “Invisible—Then Gone,” March: In the last 30 years, my midsized firm has hired 50 percent women. We have had a very difficult time hiring minorities since we do not pay BigLaw salaries, but have hired several. Ninety percent of women attorneys have left, most after a second child. All who have stayed were promoted as they were very capable.

Brian Henry


Language Barriers,” March, is well-written and articulates many impediments to our justice system, among them: longer than normal detention and incarceration; availability of interpreters, in general; delays in court calendars due to unavailability of interpreters; additional cost burdens to the system incurred in retaining interpreters for unique languages; difficulties in translating the nuances of specialized fields such as law; and ignorance of available remedies.

The article continues on to address the 2010 letter to courts informing the court system that “failing to provide interpreters in all cases was a form of national origin discrimination.” The article cites Title VI, which prohibits state agencies that accept federal funds from discriminating based on national origin.

Has it occurred to anyone to address the problem of individuals who accept federal funds from the U.S. government yet fail to take the most basic of steps to assimilate into the U.S. culture by learning English?

Perhaps if the U.S. government ceased to provide services to those who exercise discrimination against English-speaking institutions, the tide would change. It seems that it would be far less costly to require those who receive federal aid (in the form of WIC or Medicaid, child care, education or any of the other numerous programs available) to attend courses to learn English (and to demonstrate eventual proficiency) as a requirement for continued participation in the program, rather than to continue to locate and pay high remuneration to bilingual translators in specialized fields such as medicine and law. Just a thought.

Janice E. Rogers
Dobbin, Texas

I’m a magistrate in England. Last year I had a German defendant to whom I explained, through the interpreter, that he could be tried in a magistrates’ court or by a judge and jury in the Crown Court. He answered, “Mir ist scheissegal,” which means “I couldn’t give a shit.” The interpreter hesitated, then said: “He says he doesn’t mind, your worship.”

I answered “Ja, ich habe ihn gehört (yes, I heard him).”

His face was a picture!

Andrew Turek

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