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Can I depose a foreign witness by telephone?
Yes you can, and this is done quite often. The advantage to conducting a foreign deposition by phone is that it is the least expensive way to get testimony from abroad. In some third world countries lacking dependable Internet service and videoconferencing facilities, the good old fashioned telephone can be the best way to take a deposition without having to physically fly in.
We do recommend that the court reporter be physically present with the witness abroad, and that you have a legal videographer there with the witness as well. Because you can’t see the witness when deposing telephonically, having a good video record will come in real handy should you need to analyze specific responses down the road. A video record can also help to ascertain the identity of a witness should questions or challenges arise in trial.