How many times have you been in a deposition where there was an armed guard, carrying an Uzi, standing in the doorway? Let me set the scene. A law firm hired my company to provide a Court Reporter, a Videographer & an Interpreter to take testimony in a different country, i.e., not the US. The parties had to petition the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands to allow the deposition of a witness, not employed by either side of the lawsuit, and living in another country, to be taken. It was agreed that the deposition would take place in the Judge’s Chambers at the Courthouse. The room was an approximate 20’ x 25’ fully furnished office. In total, there were around 15 people in this one room. The Videographer was required to stand for the entire two days of testimony. One wall of the room was all windows facing out to the Judge’s office where the support staff worked. These windows only covered about ¾ of the way to the ceiling with an opening the rest of the way up. Did I say that the door was also kept wide open the entire time?
During both days of testimony, there were four very loud “Dot Matrix” printers working full time. One clerk was hand stamping documents, so there was a Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump, etc. going on the whole time. Other “clerks” were making and answering phone calls also. During this entire Interpreted deposition, a security guard, wearing a bullet proof vest and carrying an Uzi machine gun was standing in the doorway watching everyone carefully. When objections or other disagreements between counsel happened, he would leave the doorway and stand near those persons until the Judge nodded for him to return to the doorway. All in all, it was a nerve-wracking two days.