England is a popular locale for U.S. depositions and luckily it is one of the easiest places to schedule a deposition. As a signatory to the Hague Evidence Convention, in general, you can depose willing witnesses without any special formalities or involvement of foreign courts. Here is the official statement from the U.S. Department of State website about taking voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in England https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/Judicial-Assistance-Country-Information/UnitedKingdom.html
Voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in civil and commercial matters are permitted regardless of the nationality of the witness. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys at the U.S. Embassy or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly.
The golden rule that we always try to impress upon clients planning depositions abroad, is to be sure to plan as far in advance as possible. While there are great professionals in England, they are in limited supply and can sometimes be booked up far into the future. The further you plan ahead, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to locate and book the right, English-based professional for your deposition.
Summary Checklist: what you need to know
Taking U.S. depositions in England is permissible and in general, you can depose willing witnesses in England without any special formalities or involvement of foreign courts.
Depositions in England can take place at the venue of your choosing, whether that be a hotel room, law office, conference room, or videoconferencing facility. We encourage our clients to schedule their depositions in private locales, provided that both sides can agree to such and stipulate that the reporter can swear in the witness. Otherwise, the added hassle and expense of taking the deposition at the U.S. Consulate in England may be necessary.
Optima Juris has locally-based court reporters for depositions in England, that means no to very low travel costs for you and your client.
Give yourself a minimum of 4 weeks to plan. The further you plan ahead, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to locate and book the right professionals for your deposition.
Feel free to visit our website to see our latest blog posts and videos particularly concerning, ‘Administering the Oath’.
Need to schedule a deposition in a different country? Please visit our YouTube video playlist, ‘International Deposition Tip Series’.
Click here for additional details on taking depositions in England.
About Optima Juris
Optima Juris is the only U.S. agency exclusively dedicated to international depositions. We have been helping law offices across the globe find the highest-quality certified court reporters, legal videographers, and interpreters for over 17 years. If you should have any questions about international depositions, please do not hesitate to contact us or fill out a free quote to see how we can make your international deposition a complete success.
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