University of Cincinnati Law Review


Rather than something extraordinary, this article strives to provide something ordinary—a rough map, an assured but imperfect sketch— sorely needed by practitioners yet strangely missing from modern commentary, scholarly and otherwise. In less than 10,000 words, it summarizes the presumptions, precedents, and provisions applicable to a court’s decision regarding the proper location of a deposition under federal law, whether embodied in explicit text or conveyed in often qualified prose. As it shows, in making these fact-specific determinations over the last fifty years, this nation’s federal courts have mined a default presumption from Rule 30, focused their energies on Rule 26, and crafted two more tenets and at least two substantially identical, and increasingly narrowed, tests. Indubitably, these ad hoc analyses have engendered a perplexing and contradictory body of law. Yet, in the midst of this jarring cacophony, directions for the busy can be imparted, and checklists adumbrated. In an era of transnational defendants and cross-border cases, even such tentative directions can aid the pressured and puzzled.