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Bar Buzz: Court interpreters get new automated system

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has rolled out a new automated scheduling and management system for court interpreters.

The Interpreter Resource Management Application (IRMA) is designed to automate interpreter tasks like managing calendars, accepting or declining offers, invoicing and signing in and out of assignments.

The system is integrated with the state’s Minnesota Court Information System and went live on Oct. 21, according to the Judicial Branch’s website.

Interpreter schedulers who use the system can assess locations, expected driving time, costs of providing an interpreter on-site, plus access other information, the Judicial Branch said in a Nov. 13 press release.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea called it a significant technological achievement for the branch.

“Feedback from court interpreters who frequently work with our courts was instrumental in the development and deployment of this new web-based system,” she said in the press release. “I thank our justice partners for their support in bringing this project to fruition.”

Use of IRMA is required for interpreter assignment invoices dated after Oct. 21. The old Interpreter Invoicing System will remain available through the end of the year for invoices for assignments dated before Oct. 21.

During its first week, almost 200 interpreters used the system, according to the Judicial Branch. In 2018, more than 28,000 District Court hearings or trials required court-appointed interpreters.

IRMA was developed internally by the Information Technology Department in the State Court Administrator’s Office.

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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