Deposition: Toronto

travelling.jpgConducting a deposition in Toronto, or any other Canadian jurisdiction, requires a little planning in advance.  Canadian protocol is not exactly the same as American, and it's important to choose a court reporting company that can provide the services you need.

 

 Exhibits

Prior to your deposition, consider how many documents you'll need to bring with you.  Is it boxes of exhibits, or only a binder's worth?  If you're shipping your documents across the border, ensure you leave enough time to the small possibility that your box might be held up in customs for 24 hours.  Some deposition clients carry their documents with them in suitcases; definitely a solution, but a heavy option.  Lastly, you might consider emailing your documents to the court reporting firm you're working with and have them print the exhibits for you.  While there will be a cost, it is no doubt mitigated when looking at the cost of shipping or the hassle of carrying (and the possibility of having to pay extra baggage fees). 

Depositions often require the court reporter to take custody of the exhibits.  This is not a standard procedure in Toronto depositions.  Be sure that the court reporting firm you book with understands this procedure if it's important to you.

Court Reporting Services

What do you need for your deposition?  Let's take the example of a Toronto deposition.  There are many firms to choose from, but what kind of reporter do you want?  A certified shorthand reporter?  A digital recorder?  Both methods are acceptable not only in Toronto, but in all Canadian jurisdictions.  Do you require an expedited transcript, or realtime or a rough draft?  Not all court reporting companies can provide these services.  Do a little bit of homework to ensure the firm you're hiring has a known reputation for the provision of these services.

Videography

The last thing anyone in a deposition wants is a wedding videographer instead of a legal one!  Be sure that the videographer that is booked for you is certified, or at the very least has experience in the legal videography field.  A simple question or two to the court reporting agency will ensure they understand your expectations and delivery what you request.

Read and Sign

The ability of a witness to "read and sign" their deposition transcript is a foreign concept in Canada.  If you are working with another US court reporting agency to set up your out of country depositions, then they'll take care of that procedure for you.  In our jurisdiction, court reporting firms expect you to arrange for the reading and signing of depositions of Canadian witnesses.  

Payment Terms

Remember that you most likely don't have a relationship to the out-of-town court reporting agency.  Expect to pay for your transcript up front, whether by cheque, wire transfer or credit card.  It is extremely difficult for local companies to collect from out of country clients, as you can well imagine.  No one is trying to be difficult; but a couple of bad experiences has led to this widespread practice.

Conclusion

If you are planning a deposition in Toronto or any other Canadian locale, rest assured that in most major cities, you can get the exact services you require.  There are many locations throughout Canada, however, where you may need to fly in a court reporter from a major Canadian city to provide services.  Be aware that US court reporters are not allowed to work in Canada, any more than Canadian reporters are allowed to work in the US.  There have been instances where US reporters have had their equipment seized at the border, or they have been turned away.  Don't let that derail your deposition!  A little homework and you'll get exactly what you need north of your border.
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