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Checklist for U.S. Depositions in South Korea

With teams living in Korea, Planet Depos regularly covers depositions in Seoul, Suwon, Busan, and Pohang. Taking U.S. depositions in South Korea is straightforward using the Planet Depos checklist specific to South Korea:

 

  • Allow enough time (ideally, 2 to 3 weeks) for scheduling due to associated logistical challenges. However, as the only firm with teams living on the ground in Korea, we are often able to cover last-minute requests
  • Determine whether the witness is willing to be deposed. If so, both parties can stipulate and begin the process of setting up the deposition
  • If the witness is unwilling to be deposed and must be compelled to testify, a letter rogatory is required. For more information, visit the International Judicial Assistance Website for the Bureau of Consular Affairs
  • Determine the Planet Depos services needed:
    • U.S.-trained court reporter (stenographer)
    • U.S.-trained legal videographer
    • Korean interpreter
    • Local exhibit printing, delivery, and shredding
    • Conference room
  • If not participating in person, do you require videoconferencing services? (If not, please skip to the next item on the checklist.)
    • Do you need a location in South Korea?
    • Can you attend from your firm’s videoconference suite or do you need a location in the U.S.?
    • Ask about Planet Depos’ Mobile Videoconferencing capabilities!
  • Select your deposition date, starting time and ending time (Remember to note time zone!)
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Send protective order to Planet Depos for representatives to sign (if applicable)
  • Fill out the Planet Depos Standing Order Form to ensure we fulfill all your needs
  • Send Notice of Deposition to all counsel, the witness, and Planet Depos
  • Send prep materials to Planet Depos for reporter’s preparation:
    • Notice of deposition
    • Answer to Complaint
    • Previous transcript(s)
    • Word index
  • Provide contact information for counsel who will be attending, such as hotel or cell phone number
  • Travel safely to South Korea and contact Planet Depos with any questions once you’ve arrived!

 

Current State of Taking Depositions in South Korea

We routinely cover depositions throughout the Republic of Korea. Although we are not attorneys, our understanding of the current practice regarding taking depositions in South Korea is as follows:

  1. In order to take the voluntary deposition of a Korean national or third country national by a “commissioner,” it appears that a request must be made to the South Korean Authority and must be taken in the context of the South Korean Court System
  2. However, U.S. attorneys regularly take depositions of willing witnesses in the Republic of Korea without making a request to the Korean Central Authority
  3. It is our understanding that some attorneys interpret the restriction to be limited to involuntary depositions of Republic of Korea governmental officials and for depositions before a Korean “commissioner”
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