For Attorneys: How to Get the Best Transcript When Conducting an International Deposition

Creating a good record is essential in any deposition, but when conducting a deposition in another country it is absolutely imperative that you achieve a clear and accurate transcript for your case.  For depos in foreign countries, the clarity of the record is often complicated by witnesses with strong accents, the difficulties of working with different electrical systems, and jet-lagged depo participants. Follow these tips and advice to ensure that both you and your transcript come out looking great.

Be Prepared

When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important that you do everything possible to be prepared in advance. We invite you to look through the articles in our blog for all the advice you’ll need. Briefly, remember the following:

  • Make sure you study the visa requirements for the deposition country and ensure that you won’t encounter any difficulties getting in; also, ask us here at Optima Juris whether the deposition country has any specific restrictions on taking evidence there
  • Check the voltage system in the deposition country to make sure that you have the right plug adapters and that your computer will work correctly
  • Schedule your flights so that, in the event of a cancellation, you will be able to catch an alternative flight in order to arrive on-time
  • Make sure that opposing counsel is OK with stipulating on the record that the reporter can swear in the witness, or that you have made alternative arrangements such as having a U.S. consular officer administer the oath
  • In the event of a telephonic , videoconferenced, or streaming deposition, arrive early enough before the depo to ensure that all the equipment is working correctly and has been fully tested

Identify Yourself

Start by letting the court reporter know who you are, whom you represent, and the caption of the case.  This will allow them to refer to you correctly throughout the transcript.  For telephonic depositions it is absolutely essential to identify yourself each time you speak to avoid any confusion.
Names can be tricky and many names sound alike: Tim/Jim, Wright/White.   Proper names should be spelled out or enunciated slowly and clearly so there can be no doubt.

Talk One at a Time

When speaking in a deposition always use the speech etiquette: one at a time.  Try not to speak over or interrupt the witness’s answers. Also, remind the witness to wait until the question is finished before responding.  This is very important when conducting remote depositions where the feed may be choppy or echo if too many people are speaking at once.


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Identify the exhibit by stating both the date and the identifying features.
  • Refer to an exhibit by exhibit number.
  • When introducing a previously marked exhibit, indicate where, when, and by whom it was marked.
  • If you have a large number of exhibits to be entered into the record, let the reporter know in advance.
  • Give the reporter enough time to mark the exhibit and to make a note in the record to that effect before proceeding with the examination.

Please see our articles on managing exhibits on depositions abroad for more details.


Using an interpreter can sometimes cause unexpected problems. If a witness understands the question they may begin answering in English without waiting for the interpreter to translate the question. You must instruct the witness to answer only through the interpreter.  And always remember to address your questions directly to the witness instead of the interpreter.

Glossary of Technical Terms

To avoid any confusions or mistakes you should provide the court reporter with a glossary of technical terms and names. This will allow the reporter to be to know the terminology of the case and minimize interruptions for clarification during the proceedings.
Following these rules and guidelines will help make your record as accurate and clear as possible.

Have Any Questions?

Here at Optima Juris we arrange international depositions with a 100% success rate and are always happy to help with any questions you may have. Our court reporters and legal videographers are seasoned professionals who are used to working in other countries. Contact us today for more information on how to schedule a deposition abroad.
With over 15 years of experience covering depositions around, Optima Juris is proud to be the ‑first and only U.S. ‑firm exclusively dedicated to depos abroad. We do not cover depos in the States, and never compete with our domestic agency partners. Agencies love working with us because we make it easy to handle those rare requests for international depos. Clients love us because we give valued advice and save them money by minimizing travel costs.