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Depositions in South Africa

Background

A Washington, D.C. based Am Law 100 firm had an urgent need for a court reporter and videographer to handle more than twenty depositions in South Africa. The depositions would begin in just nine days. Having previously used the plaintiff’s deposition vendor with mixed results, defense counsel sought to change providers. Specifically, they needed a realtime certified reporter with (1) an understanding of a British accent, (2) familiarity with Afrikaner and (3) experience working in South Africa. The defense team needed to interview any reporter candidate and choose a deposition provider within 24 hours.

The Challenge

Our client faced several challenges because of the extensive schedule and distant locations of these depositions:

  • Where to find a vendor that could send personnel to Johannesburg for a remote streaming test session.
  • What vendor could find a team in less than a week who could stay in Johannesburg for three straight weeks of depositions, including weekends and evenings.
  • Where to find a vendor who had a realtime certified reporter with experience in South African proceedings, understood Afrikaner and had experience with a variety of British accents.
  • How to schedule a phone interview with a potential reporter in fewer than 24 hours with international time differences.

The Solution

At 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, case managers in the Epiq Washington, D.C. office contacted their Hong Kong and Sydney counterparts to begin making arrangements. It was very early in the morning at both of these locations; 7 a.m. and 4 a.m. We were also aware that our London office has extensive experience covering depositions in South Africa.

At 2 a.m. UK time, just hours after our client first contacted us, the Epiq London team found a uniquely qualified reporter and videographer who was available to spend three straight weeks in South Africa. Despite time zone differences, Epiq arranged a phone interview that night between the defense teams in Washington, D.C. and the court reporter in Texas.

The Results

The defense team interviewed the Epiq uniquely qualified realtime reporter and promptly selected Epiq as their partner. The Epiq reporter and videographer arrived in Johannesburg two days prior to the start of the depositions to ensure all internet access, streaming and videography were in order.  The day before the depositions began, Epiq performed a test for parties in Texas, DC and Johannesburg. In the end, 24 depositions took place in Johannesburg and were seamlessly streamed to multiple parties spanning various time zones.

The Epiq international case managers in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the U.S. collaborated flawlessly across multiple continents to achieve a successful result for our client on this matter. Without the fully staffed Epiq global offices and technical infrastructure none of this would have been possible. Epiq takes pride in providing unique global solutions. As the only U.S.-based deposition provider with fully staffed international offices, we look forward to our next global project. References are available upon request for the project described here.

A Washington, D.C. based Am Law 100 firm had an urgent need for a court reporter and videographer to handle more than twenty depositions in South Africa. 

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