After two years of uncertainty, attorneys can now take depositions in Germany again! Germany’s strict regulations meant in-person depositions were suspended due to Covid-19. However, as Europe lifted its restrictions, Germany is now allowing for in-person depositions of willing witnesses to take place. Here are three essential takeaways you need to keep in mind.
Remote depositions are not allowed.
Zoom and other videoconferencing connections are not allowed within the U.S. Consulate grounds, meaning a remote deposition can not be conducted in Germany. Therefore, if you would like to conduct your deposition virtually, your witness must travel to a neighboring deposition-friendly country that allows video testimony.
In-person depositions are allowed, with restrictions.
Although you can depose a willing witness in Germany, the deposition must occur at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt. The consulate has limited appointment slots and may require extended lead times, six weeks or more, especially after the pandemic shutdown.
You have options.
If you are under time constraints and need more than six weeks ahead of time to plan, moving your deposition outside of Germany to a neighboring country is a great way to expedite your depo.
U.S. deposition-friendly countries include the United Kingdom, Poland, and Czech Republic. These less restrictive countries offer an excellent alternative to Germany and provide remote deposition options. Traveling within Europe is relatively easy with its outstanding infrastructure, making it an option for your witness.