Michigan Supreme Court names panel to ensure court interpreters are qualified

 Looking to make sure people with limited ability to speak English have consistent, meaningful access to Michigan courts, the state Supreme Court today named nine members to the new Foreign Language Board of Review.  They are:

—Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christopher P. Yates (one-year term ending December 31, 2014) 

—Attorney Rafael C. Villarruel, Federal Defender Office, Detroit (one-year term ending December 31, 2014) 

—Attorney Mary F. Rubio, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office (one-year ending Dec.31, 2014) 

—Gratiot County Probate Court Judge Kristin M. Bakker (two-year term ending Dec.31, 2015) 

—Advocate Susan E. Reed, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2015)

—Attorney Ashley E. Lowe, Thomas M. Cooley Law School Family Law Assistance Project (two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2015)  

—Kentwood District Court Judge William G. Kelly (three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2016) 

—Waterford District Court Administrator Jennifer E. Thom (three-year term ending Dec.31, 2016) 
— Grand Rapids-area certified interpreter Donna F. Bos (three-year term ending December 31, 2016) 

“Every Michigan court should provide consistent, meaningful access to the legal system for everyone, as provided in the new interpreter rule,” said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget M. McCormack, the Court’s liaison justice on access to justice issues. “Interpreters must have the skill to reliably provide accurate interpretation of all proceedings. The Foreign Language Board of Review will ensure that court interpreter services are of consistent quality across the state.”

An FA sheet released by the Stat Court Administrator can be found at http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Resources/Documents/Administrative-Memoranda/2013-02.pdf