Judge Mary James recently received notice that Willamette Valley Inn of Court Team 5 will receive an award from the National American Inn of Court for its 2007 Program. We are being given an Outstanding Program distinction for "Barristers in Babel -Certified Interpreters for Courts and Clients," presented in March 2007.

This program addressed problems that attorneys encounter dealing with clients for whom English is not the native tongue. Through a series of lively, hands-on exercises, skits and discussions, the program demonstrated pitfalls and possibilities for communicating across language barriers in legal advocacy, and the proper use of court certified interpreters. The program also encouraged the discussion of practical tips, ethical dilemmas, and cross-cultural facets of practicing law.

Notice of the Award appears on the American Inns of Court website. This is only the second time that an Oregon Inn has received such a distinction. Of note, the last award also went to a team of the Willamette Valley Inn of Court and, Justice Carson was also a member of that team! Team members include:

  • Judge Mary James, Team Leader 
  • David L Carlson 
  • Justice Wally P Carson 
  • Rebecca Lee Hillyer 
  • Audrey Hirsch
  • David Kramer 
  • Phyllis Chadwell Myles
  • Cheryl Ann Richardson
  • David Sherman 
  • Chris Sielicky

The team also wishes to acknowledge the significant assistance it received from the State Court Interpreter Services staff. 

The team will be recognized at a future Inn meeting, which take place on the third Thursday of most months, meeting at Roth's Hospitality Center in West Salem .

American Inns of Court (AIC) are designed to improve the skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar. An American Inn of Court is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and in some cases, law professors and law students. Each Inn meets approximately once a month both to "break bread" and to hold programs and discussions on matters of ethics, skills and professionalism. Lawyers who are interested in local Inn membership, please contact Michael Martinis at Martinis & Hill.