The United States is one of the few countries where deposing a witness is standard practice. For those outside of the US, a deposition involves giving recorded testimony prior to a trial. There are many different factors that can go into a deposition and if you are a non-US attorney involved in a US case, you would be wise to become familiar with these steps. If you are a US attorney participating in a deposition abroad, this check list of court reporting needs can help keep your deposition organized even if you are out of your element:
Court reporting– Typically when we speak to court reporting, we refer to stenography, during which court reporters type verbal testimony at a minimum speed of 225 words per minute. This is possible through the use of a special machine called a stenotype, which transcribes words by phonemes rather than individual letters.
Transcription– Not to be confused with court reporting, transcription involves listening to already written voice recordings and transcribing them. Many court reporters are also transcribers and many transcribers are court reporters. However, the two are not one and the same.
Videography– A visual testimony can add a powerful impact to a written one, as it can be used to hold witnesses accountable and help viewers gauge their sincerity. People also tend to behave better in front of a camera. Legal videography services are by no means a requirement for court matters or depositions, but they are certainly a great asset.
Translation and interpretation– When depositions carry attorneys overseas, it is highly important that a qualified interpreter be present to correctly convey testimony. In court reporting, every word matters, and the chances of misrepresentation are greater when language barriers are present. Quality courtroom interpretation and document translation can mean the difference between verdicts.
Videoconferencing– Sometimes leaving the country or flying back and forth may not be possible due to time constraints, finances, witness safety or other factors. When this is the case, many court reporting service providers offer secure, real-time videoconferencing services to host depositions in multiple locations.
Additional resources and deposition services include: CART captioning for the hearing impaired, Conference locations, and online and face to face case management services. If the process is new or overwhelming to you, designating an experienced case manager can prove invaluable. NYU Global Law’s resources directory is an excellent resource for court reporting and deposition services. For more information, we invite you to peruse our blog.