Who doesn’t dream of one day going to Europe? From Big Ben to the Louvre, the Colosseum to the Alps, the beaches to the food, countless cultural touchstones call visitors from around the globe to this magnificent continent (and the U.K.!) as much now as they have for centuries. Attorneys taking depositions in Europe will discover a few additional steps when scheduling. Within this one (rather large) continent, each country has its own rules, regulations and restrictions, making each one a new adventure! For example, Austria does not permit depositions at all, while many other countries allow depositions but require permission from their respective Central Authority. Since getting around Europe is surprisingly simple, finding a nearby country to host your deposition with little to no restrictions is easy.
The advantages of having depositions in Europe are numerous! And a global court reporting agency will help you sort through the can dos and the just don’ts, leaving you more time to stride through Piccadilly or dig deep into your pasta!
Managing Language Gaps
Luckily for you, even though many different languages are spoken across Europe, English is well-spoken in most places, making travel that much easier. Mastering a few phrases in the local lingo will serve you well, but it is often easy to find someone who speaks your language.
Several international airports are crammed into Europe, and trains are a fun way to travel between countries once you’ve landed. Getting to Europe really couldn’t be easier, though leaving may be hard to do once you’re immersed in the culture and history there (and eating their cooking)! Visa and passport requirements are relatively low-key, making last-minute trips possible as long as you have a valid passport.
Deposition Scheduling Ease
Generally speaking, scheduling depositions in Europe is a simple, straightforward process. True, some countries impose some requirements or restrictions, and some do not allow depositions, but with so many countries in such close proximity, finding a depo-friendly neighbor who will host your deposition is not typically a challenge.
Speaking of restrictions, Germany is one country that requires all depositions be conducted before a U.S. consular officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, and does not allow any video recording of depositions. The German Ministry of Justice must also approve the deposition. The initial request for approval should be submitted at least eight weeks before the desired deposition date. Deposition hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the Consulate is closed on both German and American holidays.
Prior Permission Needed
Many countries in Europe do not require prior permission from their respective Central Authority for The Hague Evidence Convention, or Ministry of Justice, for American attorneys to depose an American citizen residing in their country. Some countries (the Netherlands, for example) require no permissions whatsoever, regardless of the nationality of the witness. But many countries require prior permission to take depositions of their own citizens, or of third country nationals. For example, Sweden requires prior permission to take any deposition, be your witness a Swede, a Canadian, a Bolivian or an American residing in Stockholm. Typically, when prior permission is required, it should be requested at least six weeks before the proposed deposition. Sometimes it is necessary to a court order in the formal request.
Quality Resources May Be Limited
The U.K. makes taking depositions as easy as taking them in your own state, with no prior approval necessary for witnesses of any nationality. BUT, be aware, the court reporter MUST be a U.K stenographer. These prized professionals are in high demand, and are therefore booked ages in advance, so extensive planning is essential, and dates need to be solidified as early as possible.
Contact the U.S. Embassy
Some countries not only require permission from the Central Authority for The Hague Evidence Convention but are picky about from whom they receive this request. You may need to get your Embassy to submit the request on your behalf before you can schedule the deposition. It is advisable to submit the request via the Embassy at least four weeks before the desired deposition date.
Points to Consider
Even places as wonderful as Europe are bound to have a few thorns. Keep in mind that interpreters throughout Europe keep a very tight schedule and have higher rates than in other parts of the world, all due to them being in very high demand. Interpreter cancellation policies can be strict and unyielding, so it’s important to pay close attention when booking them. Conference rooms in Europe also tend to be on the more expensive side. Everyone wants to travel to Europe, now more than ever, so planning ahead for the inevitable higher costs is an excellent idea, both for you and your client.
For more information on depositions anywhere in Europe, contact Planet Depos International Scheduling at 888.433.3767, fill out our Quick Questions form or easily schedule your international deposition now.