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Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd.

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-1472 9th Cir. Feb 21, 2012
Tr.Aud.
May 21, 2012 6-3 Alito OT 2011

Holding: Because the ordinary meaning of “interpreter” is someone who translates orally from one language to another, the category “compensation of interpreters” in 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6), which includes that category among the costs that may be awarded to prevailing parties in federal court lawsuits, does not include the cost of document translation.

Plain English Summary: “Because the ordinary meaning of ‘interpreter’ is someone who translates orally from one language to another,” … ‘compensation of interpreters’ in [28 U.S.C.] § 1920(6) does not include costs for document translation.” Put even more simply, people who win federal-court lawsuits cannot be reimbursed by the losing party for any of their document translation costs.

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Alito on May 21, 2012. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.

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