The Caribbean is a frequent location for U.S depositions, particularly on islands with extensive offshore banking industries. Taking depositions in the Caribbean is a relatively easy process with fewer restrictions than in many other regions. As an added bonus, Optima Juris has local, English-speaking court reporters throughout the Caribbean, so you save big on travel expenses!
Caribbean Deposition Hot Spots
A little over a two-hour flight from the continental United States, Puerto Rico is considered to be the most convenient location in the Caribbean. Depositions in Puerto Rico are often as easy as setting one up on the mainland.
Touted as the golfing mecca of the Caribbean with 25 designer golf courses available for the business traveler, the Dominican Republic offers astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture if you choose to fly in for your deposition.
Local, experienced court reporters are available for your legal needs in Jamaica, offering a very convenient location for international depositions. Jamaica is a beautiful island with readily available video conferencing technology – which is important if you choose to attend a deposition remotely. Setting up depos here are straightforward with no restrictions.
Though, Haiti is still recovering from an earthquake from 2010, international depositions occur often in Port-Au-Prince. Court reporters are often available or flown in from a nearby location. Depositions in Haiti can be arranged at one of the international branded hotels found on the island.
Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago is considered to be the gateway to the Americas. Located between North & South America, this diverse island is a premier meeting destination in the Caribbean. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for tourism or business-related visits of 90 days or less.
Situated only a few hundred miles from the United States’ southern coast of Florida, the Bahamas is one of the most-visited locations in the Caribbean. Also known for its largest wine cellars in the world, this destination offers a great way to unwind after a deposition.
With a growing population of just over 250,000, Barbados is an excellent location for a deposition in the Caribbean. Local, experienced court reporters are available for your legal needs.
Mostly known as a major employer in the financial sector, the Cayman islands offers plenty of high-tech locations for video-conferencing.
U.S. Virgin Islands
No passport is needed for U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands and with video conferencing capabilities on St. Thomas, this may be a perfect location for your next Caribbean deposition.
Caribbean Parties to the Hague Evidence Convention:
|Country||Hague Evidence Convention?||Depositions Permitted?|
|Antigua and Barbuda||No||Yes|
|British Virgin Islands||No||Yes|
|Saint Kitss and Nevis||No||Yes|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||No||Yes|
|Trinidad and Tobago||No||Yes|
|Turks and Caicos||No||Yes|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||No||Yes|
For more information, please visit the HCCH for a full list of all members.
Traveling to the Caribbean
High season in the Caribbean — the time of year when resorts and flights are fullest and prices are highest — runs from mid-December to mid-April. Low season runs from mid-April to mid-December, and partially overlaps with hurricane season in the Caribbean.
Visas and Passports
Make sure everyone that is traveling to the Caribbean has a passport and visa (if applicable). Most Caribbean islands do not require visas for U.S. citizens for a stay up to 30 days. Visit VisaHQ for country specific visa information.
If a visa is required, obtain it from the appropriate foreign consular representative before proceeding abroad. Allow sufficient time for processing your visa application especially if you are applying by mail. Do check the embassy rules as they are constantly updated. You can find a list of foreign embassies in the U.S. here: https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/32122.htm.
For more country-specific travel information please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
Hotel costs vary from USD $150 per night in the off-season to USD $400+ per night during peak travel times. Actual rates will vary.
Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/caribbean/hotels
Prices for food differ considerably depending on which island you are visiting. A casual meal in Aruba costs around USD $30 per person, while in the Dominican Republic it only costs USD $10 per person.
Many Caribbean islands have local public bus systems that are inexpensive (around USD $3). They’re most useful if you’re traveling between towns or villages and a few islands with particularly strong local bus systems include Aruba, Puerto Rico and Curacao.
On islands without a bus service, a taxi or car rental may be the only form of transport with fares USD $15 for even a short journey. Rental car may cost between USD $40 to USD $60 a day.
Low season begins in July and runs through October. Odds of being caught in a hurricane are small, but tropical storms are a very common occurrence.
Shoulder season starts in May through June and also includes the month of November. The weather is fair, and rain is moderate.
High season begins in December and runs through April. This is the Caribbean’s driest time, however it can be cold in Cuba and the Bahamas.
The Caribbean typically has a healthy environment with a clean water supply, however the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does recommend that visitors to certain islands get up to date on their immunizations before you leave home.
The Zika virus is a hot topic of late, to find out more before you travel, please visit the CDC’s Zika Virus page.
Zika Travel Tip from our recent NCRA Firm Owners 2016 Conference in Puerto Rico:
For more international deposition videos please visit our Optima Juris YouTube Channel.
There are a number of currencies serving multiple territories; the most widespread are the East Caribbean dollar (8 countries and territories), the United States dollar and the euro.
Caribbean restaurants often incorporate an automatic gratuities charge into the final bill, which is usually 10% of the total cost of the meal. Additional tipping is at the individual’s discretion, but it is not expected. If you are particularly delighted with your service, you may want to leave more than 15%.
For taxi drivers it is customary to tip approximately USD $1 to USD $2 for in-town fares. Plan on tipping more on holidays, after midnight, and on Sundays in the Caribbean.
It’s important to do your homework and research carefully into the situation in your particular country of focus. We’re always glad to assist with country-specific questions, we will never charge for access to our knowledge and experience in arranging international depositions.
Optima Juris has been helping law offices across the globe find the highest quality certified court reporters, legal videographers, and interpreters for over 15 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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