By Neal Price
Retaining certified and highly experienced court reporters, videographers and interpreters when taking depositions abroad will save money and ensure that the proceedings run smoothly. The following questions should be asked of your vendor before a commitment is made:
Is the team local, or do they need to travel to the location?
One of the first things to consider is whether or not the court reporter, videographer and interpreter are local to the country in which the depositions are set to take place. If they are not local, will you be charged for airfare, hotel, meals, taxis, travel days and other expenses? Also, non-local teams can be affected by delays or cancellations of flights due to weather, mechanical issues and/or natural disasters.
Do the court reporter and videographer have back-up equipment?
Lost luggage is common and technical difficulties occur. It is of utmost importance that the reporter and videographer have a backup plan if any of their equipment malfunctions or is lost. If someone plugs in a power strip to an outlet overseas without the proper adapter, all of the connected equipment is subject to massive failure. There must be backup equipment close by just in case something like this should occur. Trying to get a steno machine repaired in remote parts of Taiwan or Sweden is nearly impossible. Having to fly a replacement machine in could take two to three days.
Is the reporter able to provide accurate realtime involving technical terminology including Asian or European proper names and geographical terms, and do they specialize in realtiming complex intellectual property cases? Will they bring multiple laptops to the depositions for attorneys who have connectivity problems in Asia? It is very important for interpreters to also view the realtime feed to make sure that they are interpreting correctly and quickly catch mistakes. Can the reporter provide laptops to the interpreters to facilitate a smooth-flowing deposition?
All of these questions are very important when selecting a court reporter, videographer and interpreter to cover your depositions abroad. In most cases, clients are very cost-sensitive, and issues that could have been avoided through proper planning and review can be very costly and time consuming. Finding a firm with years of expertise in covering international depositions and arbitrations is paramount in the process.