Florida Record

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Attorney on adoption of Daubert standard: Florida judges have 'rich, modern set of case law'

State Court

By Carrie Bradon | Sep 17, 2019

The Florida Supreme Court recently rejected a bid by the code and rules of evidence committee of the Florida Bar to have the court reconsider its decision on the Daubert standard for expert evidence in court earlier this year. 

The Daubert standard for expert evidence offers a more consistent and professional set of rules regarding the admission of evidence in court, supporters say. Under the standard, there is a five-point test on the scientific basis for the testimony, and experts must attend a hearing prior to giving testimony.

Daniel J. Gerber, a partner with Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell in Orlando, said that there is nothing surprising about the court’s decision.

“The Florida Supreme Court’s opinion was entirely consistent with their earlier rule’s decision adopting the Daubert standard, so it’s no surprise that the court would act consistently,” Gerber told The Florida Record

He added that it was a well-thought out decision when it was made back in May.

“The court had years of experience with this issue and had ample briefing and input from its rules committee when it issued its May 2019 decision,” Gerber said. “Nothing changed between the time that the court issued the May 2019 decision and the motion for rehearing, all of the information that the court needed was there before the May 2019 opinion.”

Although changing the standard of evidence admission may seem complicated, Gerber says it enhances the Florida court system's ability to be more in line with other states’ courts. 

“The most important outcome is that Florida joins the vast majority of federal and state courts in applying the modern Daubert standard and this gives Florida judges a rich and modern set of case law on which to base the decision on the admissibility of expert testimony,” Gerber said.

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