On February 26, 2013, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued the public version of Order No. 50 (dated January 25, 2013) in Certain Sintered Rare Earth Magnets, Methods of Making Same and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-855).
According to the Order, Respondents Bunting Magnetics Co., Viona Corp., Yantai Zhenghai Magnetic Material Co., Ltd., Ningbo Jinji Strong Magnetic Material Co., Ltd., Anhui Earth-Panda Advance Magnetic Material Co., Ltd., Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., Maxon Precision Motors, Inc., Nexteer Automotive Corp., Callaway Golf Co., Beats Electronics, LLC, Monster Cable Products, Inc., AKG Acoustics GmBH, Harman International Industries, DeWALT Industrial Tool Co., Bose Corp., and Bosch Security Systems, Inc. (collectively, “Moving Respondents”) moved to compel complainants Hitachi Metals, Ltd. and Hitachi Metals North Carolina (collectively, “Hitachi Metals”) to provide their employees for depositions in the United States or, alternatively, to pay for all costs and fees associated with holding depositions in Japan. The Moving Respondents argued that holding depositions in Japan would cause them to suffer unreasonable and prejudicial hardship. Specifically, the Moving Respondents asserted that all the attorneys cannot participate in the depositions because all the attorneys cannot be in the deposition room due to the small room sizes. The Moving Respondents noted that the United States-Japan Bilateral Consular Convention of 1963 requires that all depositions conducted in Japan by American attorneys must be held at the U.S. Consulate in Osaka or the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Further, the Moving Respondents asserted that the largest room available at either location, which can hold a maximum of fifteen people, is too small given the Investigation’s 29 named respondents.
In opposition, Hitachi Metals argued that “the procedural requirements for depositions in Japan do not constitute the ‘hardship or unusual circumstances’ required to depart from the Commission’s practice of holding depositions at a convenient location for the witness.” Further, Hitachi Metals asserted that the Moving respondents have failed to explain how their interests diverge to the extent that they need to be represented by separate counsel at the depositions. The Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) also opposed the motion.
ALJ Bullock held that the parties are to hold depositions in a mutually agreeable location outside of Japan because of the space constraints caused by the Japanese facilities. ALJ Bullock determined that all respondents have a right to have an attorney present at the depositions. Accordingly, ALJ Bullock granted-in-part Moving Respondents’ motion.