Swearing in a Witness in an International Deposition
When conducting normal, day-to-day depositions inside the United States, most attorneys rely on their court reporter to swear in the witness. This works fine domestically, because nearly all court reporters are certified notaries in their state.
When you’re taking your deposition in a foreign country, however, things become different. The Hague Convention was created after World War II to set a precedent for the way countries agree to work together. The Hague Convention simplifies the deposition process. One of the ways Olender Legal Solutions handles depositions is by having both sides agree on-the-record that the court reporter swears on the witness. We highly recommend that the attorneys seek a judges' order granting Olender Legal Solutions to conduct the deposition. Under circumstances where there are absent parties, Olender can coordinate alternative services in order to conduct a proper deposition in that country. Olender Legal Solutions has expertise in conducting international depositions in Asia, Europe and South America.
Within some larger cities, consular officials can even visit your deposition off-site to swear in your witness. Please be aware, they charge a hefty price for this service, and you may need to schedule it far in advance. And in a lot of countries, where consular resources are far more limited, you may not even be able to get through to someone, let alone find a consular officer who knows what a deposition is. This varies from country to country.
If opposing counsel is in agreement, the most common work-around for American depositions abroad is for both sides to stipulate on the record that the court reporter can swear in the witness. This is where Olender Legal Solutions works with clients to get the judge to work with you. In certain circumstances, judges also have the commission to give court reporters to administer the oath.
Administering the Oath in International Countries
Once this is done, the reporter can simply administer the oath and swear in the witness, exactly as would be done were if you taking your deposition in the United States. The key here is to ensure in advance that both sides are willing to stipulate, and that the judge is on board with that arrangement. This is what happens in over 90% of U.S. depositions conducted abroad.
By stipulating, you gain the freedom to conduct your deposition anywhere you want (hotel conference rooms and business centers are the most popular spots in foreign countries) without needing to deal with the expense and hassle of involving the U.S. consulate, or foreign notaries.