Florida Returns To Daubert Standard For Admission Of Expert Testimony

 Friday, October 4, 2019

 Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.

The ink was barely dry on Florida Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in DeLisle v. Crane Co., 2018 WL 5075302 (Fla., Oct. 15, 2018). That decision declared Florida’s 90.702 — which adopted the Daubert standard for the admission of expert testimony — unconstitutional and returned the state to the Frye standard which had been around since 1922.

On May 23, 2019, the same Florida Supreme Court that adopted Frye flip-flopped in In re Amendments to Fla. Evidence Code, 2019 WL 2219714 (Fla. 2019) and returned Florida to the Daubert standard, where it will presumably stay.

A national tug-of-war regarding the rules and standards to be utilized in determining who is qualified to testify as an “expert” in a litigated case has been ongoing since 1993.

The use of so-called “junk science” in litigation had for years been a growing concern. The term became useful to describe scientific data, research, or analysis considered and opinions given by someone hired to be an expert witness in a case.

An entire cottage industry arose involving arguably unqualified experts, relying on questionable scientific evidence and techniques.
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