Interpreting Jury Instructions, Plea Forms & Protection from Abuse Hearings: Oh My!

  • 24 Jun 2017
  • 25 Jun 2017
  • Philadelphia, PA

Interpreting Jury Instructions, Plea Forms & Protection from Abuse Hearings: OH MY! 
An Intensive American Sign Language Legal Interpreting Seminar

Date: Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Time: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm 

Location: Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice 

Courtroom 304

1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 

Cost: Seminar $265.00 

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE AND REGISTRATION HERE! Mathers June 24 25 brochure final.pdf


This is a two-day ASL advanced seminar designed to meet the needs of the seasoned court interpreter who has completed basic court interpreter training and 

who seeks more advanced training to sharpen skills and to gain a more thorough understanding of the realm of legal interpreting. 

Jury instructions, change of plea hearings and Protection from Abuse hearings are challenging proceedings. Interpretation of these texts requires time and practice. Interpreters normally are given little time to review such texts and are expected to interpret these proceedings and forms on the spot. Research shows that jury instructions are dense texts and that interpreters can benefit from both text analysis and actual simultaneous interpreting practice. Ninety percent of criminal cases end in a change of plea to guilty, which is read into the record and documented by a text in which the defendant waives important constitutional rights knowingly and voluntarily. Domestic violence is a social problem that affects all sectors of society. When deaf people are involved, legal interpreters are requested to interpret and assist the Court in these high risk, emotionally charged interactions. Many times applications for protection from abuse are filed with little notice and implicate the need for emergency interpreting. This seminar will address the process and procedures promulgated by the courts, as well as discuss the ethical and interpreting demands faced in these challenging matters. 


RID Certification Maintenance Program CEUs are pending for on-site activities. VRID is sponsoring the CEUs. Upon registration, participants will be emailed a list of vocabulary and instructions. Participants are expected to complete the definitions and bring to class. CEUs will not be given for completing this pre-seminar requirement. A total of 1.2 CEUs will be awarded for successful completion of the entire seminar. CEUs will not be awarded for partial attendance. Certified interpreters registered with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Court Interpreter Certification Program can receive CEUs towards the renewal of their certification status by attending this seminar. Interpreters must request pre-approval from the PAICP using the form on their website. 


Carla Mathers, Esquire, CSC, SC: L, is an attorney in private practice with offices in Baltimore and College Park, Maryland. Ms. Mathers works for a civil litigation firm and is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Mathers graduated magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law (1993) where she was a member of Howard University Law Journal. Ms. Mathers received her undergraduate degree from University of Maryland (1985) where she graduated summa cum laude. Ms. Mathers' interpreting degree is from the College of Southern Idaho (1981). Ms. Mathers is a former President and Vice President of the Potomac Chapter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Ms. Mathers is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Maryland Bar Association. Ms. Mathers is a member of the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts' Advisory Committee on Interpreters. As a part of this commitment, she sits on the Sub-committee on Ethics and the Sub-committee on Testing and Training. She has been a consultant and faculty member for the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts' Orientation to Court Interpreting Program. 

A Judge of the Court of Common Pleas (Pennsylvania), who has presided in trial proceedings arising under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFAA), including indirect criminal contempt and civil contempt of the PFAA law. The judge has experience in other Family Court matters involving child support, custody, divorce, equitable distribution, paternity, juvenile delinquency, and dependency. 

For more information, or for information pertaining to Accommodations, contact: 

Jessica Bentley-Sassaman 

Phone: 717-215-2671 


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