My name is Dr. Michael O’Laughlin. I have worked as an expert for seven years now and for decades before that as a certified court interpreter. I am also the director of the Boston University Interpreter Training Program, the most respected in New England. I am a Harvard and Oxford graduate and I have worked with foreign languages all my life. I am the only person on the list of recognized and approved experts maintained by the Committee for Public Counsel Services for the subject of foreign languages and cultures. These are only a few of my credentials in this area.
Today there are many criminal cases that involve languages or understanding in one way or another. Whenever rights are waived, statements are made, or a confrontation with the police occurs, a person who does not speak English perfectly can be at a real disadvantage. Misunderstandings are extremely common.
I help attorneys by explaining misunderstandings, providing cultural background, testing for proficiency and literacy in English, and questioning the competency of non-professional interpreters and other stop-gap measures taken by the authorities when dealing with the foreign-born. For example, when a policeman gives the Miranda warnings in a foreign language, those warnings are very often given incorrectly. I have had many cases with this issue and I have given CLEs on this subject, as well as on other language and culture issues.
If you have a case in which you feel your foreign-born client did not understand everything, or was not understood him or herself, please feel free to call or email me. If you were appointed to this case, I will help you file a motion to hire me as an expert. After I meet with your client I will write a report, and attorneys have always found my reports useful.
Subjects I Am Ready to Address and Tasks I am Ready to Undertake:
- Language barriers and the OUI or DWI
- Interpreter Qualifications and Ethics
- Translation Checking and Verification
- Limited English Proficiency Testing
- Miranda Warning Issues
- Equal Protection and Due Process Questions
- Literacy Testing
- Transcripts of bilingual or Spanish-language interviews or wiretaps
- Foreign Word Studies
- Immigrant Acculturation and Second Language Acquisition
- Cultural Differences