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By Katelin Myers

As many attorneys in the field know, the world of international law is constantly changing. Standards and practices recently adhered to may not be the norm today, as foreign jurisdictions frequently update their procedures and new decisions by U.S. courts often supersede the precedent.

One such decision recently came down through the U.S. District Court in California regarding travel costs for Japanese depositions. A common practice for many U.S. attorneys taking depositions in Japan is to retain U.S. reporters and videographers (or teams from other parts of Asia) to cover. However, having non-local teams cover Japanese depositions requires more logistics, especially since travel costs will be incurred (flight, hotel, ground transportation, etc.). Counsel have also used this argument to require depositions be taken in the U.S.

In a recent matter, the District Court denied a motion for costs in re travel expenses: “The Court is confident that an adequate court reporter and videographer can be found in Japan…without need for such personnel to be internationally flown to Japan from elsewhere.” According to the Court, depositions in Japan can be sufficiently covered by local teams and thus deemed travel from the U.S. an unnecessary cost.

From our experience, using local reporters, videographers, and interpreters is the most cost-effective and efficient way to take depositions in Japan. Besides avoiding extra travel fees, using local teams can help counsel avoid various time-consuming hurdles that often cause delay or even cancellations. Further, obtaining deposition visas is not necessary for Japanese teams (residents of Japan do not need visas!) and can provide expert insight into the nuances of Japanese depositions.

As the only court reporting team living in Japan, Planet Depos’ U.S.-trained court reporters, videographers, and interpreters can cover your Japanese depositions with ease — and no travel fees! For more information, contact our international team at 888.433.3767 or at

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