Your Guide To Enjoying Global Depositions

The Joy of Doing Global Depositions
Let’s face it: global depos can be hard to do. Those of us who do them for a living know that arranging depositions abroad entails a lot of preparation, along with a fair share of stressful moments. In the midst of all the hard work, however, there’s one thing we should never lose sight of: the amazement and joy of making something important happen in a faraway country. Whether you might be an attorney, a paralegal, a legal secretary, a reporter, or a videographer, the thrill is the same. It’s quite simply an amazing experience to work abroad, to discover new people and places. This article focuses on the bright side of global deposition work, the pure wonder and joy of it. If you’re like me, traveling and getting the chance to work in a foreign country is quite simply the most amazing experience imaginable. You feel honored to be a part of it. Here is my advice for maximizing the fun factor when conducting your deposition project abroad.
Fun Means Planning Ahead
If, like me, you have years of experience traveling around the world on depos, you know that to really enjoy the work you must first have carefully planned and organized everything in advance.  If you’re a reporter or videographer, make sure that your traveling kit is set and that all details have been covered. If you’re an attorney, ensure that your office has carefully scheduled everything, and that you have a backup plan for each and every aspect of your depositions. Only when fully prepared will you be in the right zone for getting the maximum amount of enjoyment from your work and travel.
Enjoy the People
There’s no doubt in my mind: the biggest privilege for me these past years has been the chance to meet amazing people around the world — people I would never have been exposed to were I in a different line of work.
There are the witnesses themselves – celebrities, scientific geniuses, and CEO’s of top global companies. There are also those witnesses who are just normal people, but who have lived through amazing events or harrowing experiences. In all of these cases, the ideas and inspiration (not to mention the important life lessons) various witnesses have exposed me to as I’ve listened passively from behind my video camera are among the most valued and cherished things I have. When it’s appropriate, attorneys and members of the deposition team can sometimes go out to grab a meal or drink after the deposition together. In cases where there’s no conflict, the witness will sometimes join or show us around. I love being able to engage with incredible people in different countries, and to gratefully absorb the amazing knowledge and experiences they have to offer.
Then there are the attorneys and professionals who team up to work together and make the deposition happen. These people are often as fascinating and accomplished (and sometimes a great deal more so!) than the witnesses are. Working in foreign countries is great because it tends to put people in a more cordial and open mood. When there is a good vibe and everyone is working together like a well-oiled machine during the depo – attorneys, witness, reporter, interpreter, videographer – that kind of collaboration can often spill over to a friendly drink or a walk outside after the deposition is over. I will always cherish the many friends I’ve made among the attorneys, reporters, and interpreters with whom I’ve had the good fortune to work abroad.
Last – and definitely not least! – are the amazing people who support the process of planning and implementing the deposition before and after, the pillars of the project. By this I mean the assisting attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries with whom I’ve often become good friends after the deposition has concluded. I like to flatter myself that this may have something to do with me, but in reality the intense work and collaboration that goes into setting up a depo can create a professional bond that is a rare and wonderful thing. I’d like to personally thank all of the people with whom I’ve had the good fortune to work in the planning stages of global depositions. I hope we’ll be able to continue working together far into the future!
Enjoy the Places
Paris, Venice, London, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Johannesburg, Munich, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Monaco – what more can I say? Just saying the names of these cities is enough to inspire the imagination. When you’ve been fortunate enough to travel and work in them as I have, you can’t fail to thank your lucky stars. For those of us who happen to be from the United States, a relatively young country, just being in the presence of so much history and cultural sophistication when traveling abroad is a pure joy in itself.
Enjoying the places in which you’re working means thinking ahead: planning well enough so that you have that small amount of time (be it an hour for lunch, an evening off, or maybe a day or two before heading back home) to get out of the conference room or hotel and immerse yourself in the new country. I know what you may be saying to yourself: depositions are so challenging, and I am so busy, that there’s no way I’ll ever have the time available to do anything but work once I’ve arrived in country. But remember, just one hour for lunch, or a few hours in the evening, are not impossible goals. If you plan for that, and resolve to take just a little time to get outside and explore, you won’t regret it. Don’t forget: you never know when, or even if, you’ll ever get to be in the same place again.
I’m not saying you should rush to get to a hard-to-reach museum or crowded tourist spot. For me, in fact, enjoying each foreign city I work in has a lot more to do with walking the streets near my hotel, chatting with the locals, and even doing important preparatory work like copying exhibits or getting supplies. The pleasure of being elsewhere is often more concentrated in doing relatively mundane activities, and working with local people on that level – which is a real and uncomplicated level — than in diving into the fake and chaotic universe of tourist traps or the silent boredom of a national museum.
Enjoy the Food!!
This is the subject dearest to my heart. Now that I think about it, it’s perhaps the real reason I got involved in doing global work in the first place. I ask you simply: what is more amazing than being able to sample the many wonderful creations which make up the world’s palette of local cuisines? For me, enjoying foreign food goes hand-in-hand with enjoying foreign people and places. Attorneys: a simple lunch or dinner with your key witness, for example, outside of the confining conference room or hotel, will open up a world of new discoveries and may quite possibly improve your case. Don’t be those lawyers who order sandwiches in the conference room and surf the web during a deposition lunch break, when just outside, literally, a few feet away, there is Paris, or Rome, or old Delhi! Don’t be a prisoner of the deposition bubble – take advantage of any time you may have during breaks or in the evenings, and use it for the most constructive purpose (well, one of the most constructive) in human existence: eating!
Your local reporter or deposition team will probably have some great suggestions on where to go to grab a bite. If you ask trustworthy local collaborators, you will almost never run the risk of eating something that might make you unwell. If you happen to be sensitive to foreign food, wait until the last night of your deposition to go out and try the local delicacies. You won’t regret it!
Planning and Resolve: the Magic Combination
As I said, all it takes to enjoy your work abroad is the appropriate amount of advance planning, and a little personal resolve to enjoy yourself. If you need any help with the planning, just let me know – I’d be more than happy to assist. As for the resolve, just ask yourself what life is truly about: work or fun? If your answer is both, then you are well on the road to having a successful global deposition in both senses of the term: getting the job done, while at the same time experiencing the joy of the thing.

Ian Hardy is the President and lead Global Deposition Expert at Optima Juris, the world’s first and only reporting agency that exclusively handles depositions abroad