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Appealing a Protective Order that Precludes You from Deposing Material Witness

In a recent article, I discussed that if you are appealing a discovery order, you are doing so through a petition for a writ of certiorari.  I further discussed that this was not an easy appeal, and typically, it is not an easy appeal.   But, what about the scenario where the trial court precludes you from taking a deposition of a material witness?  For instance, say you want to take a witness’ deposition and the opposing side moves for a protective order to prevent that deposition from going forward.  Say the trial court agrees with the opposing party and grants...

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Denial of Right to Depose Material Witness

Depositions are an integral part of a dispute’s "truth seeking" discovery process. This is where parties can depose a witness under oath and explore key factual issues and parties’ positions, both from a liability and damages perspective.   Certain depositions can be introduced for purposes of substantive evidence at trial.   Other depositions can be used for purposes of impeachment in case a witness changes his/her position or story at trial. The significance of a deposition of a material witness in a civil case cannot be understated.   If an opposing party wants to limit or prevent a deposition from moving forward, that party will...

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Inadmissible Testimony / Evidence Should Not be Considered on a Summary Judgment

  Speculative and inadmissible testimony should not be considered on a summary judgment. This point is illustrated in the wrongful death case of Panzera v. O’Neal, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2661a (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).  In this case, the undisputed evidence was that the decedent, wearing a dark colored shirt, was killed trying to cross an interstate at 3am.   He was killed by a semi tractor-trailer driving under the speed limit that tried to avoid the accident. The Florida Highway Patrol responded to the accident and reported that the decedent caused the accident and the driver of the semi could have...

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Using Deposition of Expert Witness at Trial and Reading Portion of Deposition Transcript

Expert witnesses are an important part of civil trials (and criminal trials).   Parties utilize expert witnesses at trial to render expert opinions. But, a testifying expert does not need to be at trial live (or, in person) to render an expert opinion.   Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.330(a)(3) provides in pertinent part: “The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any party for any purpose if the court finds:…(F) the witness is an expert or skilled witness.” Similarly, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.390(b) provides: “The testimony of an expert…witness may be taken at any time...

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Benefit of Corporate Representative Depositions

Depositions are a routine form of discovery in civil disputes. In disputes involving businesses or governmental bodies (the “Entity”), the opposing party will take what is known as a corporate representative deposition. In a corporate representative deposition, the party taking the deposition will designate topics that they want the Entity to answer questions about. The Entity then has to duty to prepare a representative or representatives to answer questions relating to the topics. The Entity has discretion on the representative(s) it chooses to answer questions relating to the topics provided that the representative(s) it chooses is reasonably prepared. For example, assuming there...

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