STANDARDS OF CONDUCT Maricopa County, Arizona

1.  All reasonable efforts should be made to ensure that the interpreter is able to hear adequately the voices he/she is interpreting.

2.  The interpreter shall not omit or add to the versions he/she interprets, nor shall he/she change the language level, tone or intent of these versions.

3.  All discourse carried on through the interpreter shall be direct, without resorting to the third person.

4.  The interpreter shall refer to himself as "The inter-preter" when interpreting for the record to avoid confusion with the pronoun "I," which shall refer to the interpreter's subject.

5.  The interpreter shall not repeat gestures made by his subject, nor shall he extrapolate meaning from such gestures.  It falls to the Court or counsel to state for the record the nature and intent of the witness's gesture.

6.  To avoid confusion, the subject who has minimal knowledge of English should be advised by the Court to refrain from answering the question put to him/her in English until after the interpreter has interpreted it, and to make his answer in the interpreted language.

7.  If there is an objection to the quality of the interpreted redition made by the appointed interpreter, whether official or not, the attorney making such an objection shall not be permitted to provide testimony as to what he believes the correct rendition should be.  The Court should not seek counsel's advice on the correctness of the interpreter's rendition. If counsel beleives that a prospective interpreter is not qualified to serve as interpreter in the matter before the Court, the Court may allow
counsel to conduct a brief examination of the interpreter as to his/her qualifications, and then to make the appropriate motions.

8.  In interpreting in the consecutive mode, the interpreter may need to interrupt the discourse of the witness periodically to interpret or to review his/her notes.  These interruptions should only create a pause during the witness's testimony and will not delete or stop parts of that testimony.  The interpreter may arrange a system of signals with the witness before taking the stand, so as to facilitate this process.


1.  The interpreter shall not give legal advice to his/her subject, whether solicited or not.

2.  The interpreter shall never refer his/her subject to a specific attorney or law firm.

3.  The interpreter shall maintain a professional relationship with his/her subject, and avoid a sympathetic, advocacy or personal rapport with such person.

4.  When an interpreter finds himself/herself in a situation in which he must interpret special or technical vocabulary, he/she shall realistically evaluate his/her ability to perform and disqualify himself/herself is he/she is not fully capable of giving a professional interpreted rendition.

5.  In all instances, the interpreter shall disclose to the Court as well as to all parties, any actual or apparent conflict of interest.  Any condition which impinges on the objectivity or impartiality of the interpreter or affects his/her professional integrity constitutes a conflict of interest.  A conflict may exist under the following circumstances:

(a)  The interpreter is acquainted with any party to the action.
(b)  The interpreter has any interest in the outcome of the case.
(c)  The interpreter is perceived as not being independent of the adversary parties or agencies.

6.  The interpreter shall keep confidential all matters interpreted in communications between counsel and client.  See this chapter, paragraph 8.

7.  The interpreter shall not discuss the facts of a case pending before the Court except as regards matters of professional nature within the Office of the Court Interpreter.

8.  Interpreters employed by the Office of the Court Interpreter shall not accept payment or gratuity of any kind additional to his salary or wage. Official Court Interpreters who are Maricopa County employees may interpret before the Federal, Superior, Justice or Municipal Courts for recompense only when they have requested and have been granted leave time
from regular duties for this purpose.

9.  The interpreter should, through continuing education, maintain and improve his interpreting skills and knowledge of procedures.  The interpreter should seek to elevate the standards of performance of the interpreting profession.
Text provided courtesey of  Marcella Alohalani Boido <>