Deposing a Witness Right Before Trial In Florida

In Anderson v. State, 314 So. 2d 803 (Fla. 3d DCA 1975), a witness was deposed right before trial, and the defendant moved for a continuance because of insufficient time to prepare for the trial as a result of the deposition. The trial court denied the continuance, and defense counsel attempted to impeach the witness, whose deposition had not yet been transcribed, with counsel's recollection of answers given in the deposition. The court sustained the state's objections. The third district reversed the conviction, finding the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant the continuance until the deposition could be transcribed, and that it was highly prejudicial because the lack of the deposition precluded effective cross-examination of a key witness. See also Smith v. State, 578 So. 2d 366 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991).