The process of scheduling an international deposition can have several moving pieces, from counsel’s and the witness’s schedule to arranging for a court reporter, videographer, and/or interpreter. And then there’s finding an appropriate location, coordinating travel, organizing exhibits, setting up special services, as well as planning for the necessary technology needed to make the deposition run smoothly. If you are using a court reporting firm to assist in coordinating the logistics of a deposition, below are some tips and key points to remember when scheduling.
Tip 1: Remote or In-Person Depositions?
Determining the proper location for your international deposition is vitally important. Will the deposition take place at a specific venue or will it be held remote? For the past year the rise in remote depos has significantly increased and firms have found they can successfully complete depositions this way. Some important factors to consider when making this decision:
- Consider travel regulations for the target country
- Does the country in question allow for remote depositions?
- Are the witnesses able to travel (to the US, or a nearby country)
- Have a question about travelling witnesses? Contact our international experts.
Tip 2: If Remote, Choose A Platform
Traveling to depositions is not always convenient or deemed “safe” because of external forces such as a worldwide pandemic. But fortunately, technology easily permits for taking your international depositions remote through either traditional videoconferencing or mobile videoconferencing.
Traditional videoconferencing uses dedicated VC units that connect through a static IP address. Another option for remote attendance is via mobile videoconference. Mobile videoconferencing allows remote participants to connect via most any device, including laptops, iPads, or smartphones via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Your court reporting firm can set you up with a mobile videoconference meeting that is both secure and stable.
It is important to consider security needs for the remote deposition. At Planet Depos we have the enterprise version of Zoom with fantastic security, but also have versions that are both HIPAA-compliant and Zoom for Government that will provide you a secure remote deposition while following all necessary guidelines. Our blog post on Zoom security provides additional details on why Zoom meets our security needs. Will you need a Zoom Technician, and if so do you have a specific tech you want? Here at PD our Technicians have become like celebrities—our clients love them!
If seeing the witness is not a priority, often the cheapest method to attend a deposition remotely is to have a conference call number provided, which will allow you to simply connect via phone.
Tip 3: If In-Person, Determine the Proper Venue
If the deposition needs to take place in person, assuming you don’t have an office in the city where the depositions are taking place you’ll need to reserve a room for the deposition to take place. Some physical aspects of a deposition location, that one needs to consider include:
- the size of the space,
- seating availability,
- breakout room accessibility, and
- the proximity to parking or public transportation.
It is also important to consider the facility’s technology services, such as photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, and wireless or hardline internet connections. It would also be prudent to inquire about any additional cost for heating and A/C control for after-hours access. Be mindful of the time zone in which you are reserving a conference room, particularly if any participants are attending remotely.
Once the location is selected, you will need to include the specific information in the Notice, along with the requirement of court reporters, videographers, interpreters, and of course proper social distancing guidelines. Make sure to check the location of the deposition to see if there are any health and safety guidelines in place. While we can’t speak on behalf of any shared spaces, Planet Depos offices have reduced capacities and provide pre-checks, cleaning, disinfecting, and proper supplies as well as common area guidelines such as the use of face coverings. Additionally, we have our guide to A Safe Return to In-Person Litigation to provide all necessary information.
Tip 4: Is an Interpreter Needed?
Check to see if the witness needs an interpreter. If so, make sure proper planning takes place for the interpreter, whether the international deposition takes place remote or in person.
Tip 5: Transcript and Video Delivery Options
The transcript turnaround time varies amongst court reporting agencies. If you know that you’ll need the transcript on an expedited basis, inform the court reporter or the agency as soon as possible. Doing so allows the reporter and the production team to adjust schedules accordingly to ensure that the transcript is delivered to you on time.
Of course, if you think you might need a rough draft of the transcript, make every attempt to let the court reporting agency know in advance so that a qualified court reporter may be assigned. If a videographer will be present at the depositions, it is important to be specific about any rush request for the video.
Digital video files are the easiest way to receive video depositions quickly. Many videographers also create DVDs during the deposition, and if you request in advance, they may be able to provide you with a DVD to take home with you.
Tip 6: Request A Realtime Feed
If you would like to receive a realtime feed during the deposition, it is best to provide the request to the court reporting agency at the time of scheduling so that a qualified reporter may be assigned. The reporter will be prepared to transmit local realtime (within the deposition suite), as well as to stream the realtime to a remote location.
Tip 7: Proper Equipment
Your court reporting firm should also be able to provide you with loaner pieces such as iPads, projection units and document cameras, if requested in advance.
And if you are scheduling an international remote depo, there is some important “equipment” that you will want to take care of ahead of time:
- Test your internet for a strong Wi-Fi connection or utilize a hardwired connection.
- If you will be on video be sure there is good lighting, eliminate distracting backgrounds, and dress professionally.
- Test your equipment to be sure your microphones, headphones, and audio quality are all working properly. You can schedule a test with one of our technicians.
- Make sure your Zoom software is up to date.
Tip 8: Sending exhibits in advance
It’s always helpful to send exhibits in advance of the deposition. Sending exhibits digitally can be the most convenient and efficient way to ensure the exhibits make it to the deposition. If you want to pre-mark exhibits, you can always include that information for the court reporter. But if you need to send original exhibits through a mail service, be sure to always retain a tracking number and confirm the proper receiving address for the exhibits.
Having a Zoom Tech on your remote depo makes the exhibit process seamless. You will upload the exhibits beforehand and our Zoom Tech will take it from there during the deposition to share the exhibits.
Tip 9: Changes in time, venue, or services
Deposition details change all the time. Court reporting firms are generally very flexible, but it is vital to communicate any changes in the deposition time, venue, or services as soon as you know them. This ensures that every deposition starts on time, and it also helps to avoid any unnecessary charges.
Tip 10: Triple Check Time Zone Conversions
Be sure to triple check the time zone conversions if you have people joining the deposition from multiple locations. This is especially important if any aspect of your international deposition is remote. As a general rule of thumb, when planning for depositions in Asia, note that the witness may be more than 12 hours ahead. That means Thursday evening in New York is Friday morning in Seoul.
Planet Depos has been covering depositions around the globe for over a decade, using remote deposition technology when necessary. More than experts on international depositions, they are experts on remote depositions as well. For more information on international depositions and where you can schedule remote international depositions, contact email@example.com.