May 24, 2019

On May 23, 2019, “[t]he Court, according to its exclusive rulemaking authority pursuant to article V, section 2(a), of the Florida Constitution, adopts chapter 2013-107, sections 1 and 2, Law of Florida (Daubert amendments), which amended sections 90.702 (Testimony by experts) and 90.704 (Basis of opinion testimony by experts), Florida Statutes, of the Florida Evidence Code to replace the Frye standard for admitting certain expert testimony with the Daubert standard, the standard for expert testimony found in Federal Rule of Evidence 702.”

“Effective immediately, upon release of this opinion we adopt the amendments to section 90.702 as procedural rules of evidence and adopt the amendment to section 90.704 to the extent it is procedural.”

This change is significant because it means that nearly any expert testimony can now be challenged as opposed to just the "new" or "novel scientific" opinion evidence under the Frye standard, where only a small group of expert opinions were challenged.

Daubert provides that “the trial judge must ensure that any and all scientific testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.” Daubert, 509 U.S. at 589 (holding that the Federal Rules of Evidence superseded Frye). Florida now falls (back) into line with the majority of the other jurisdictions.

We hope that this is the last we hear from the Florida Supreme Court on the issue for many years.

 

Read the Ruling Here.

For more information, contact Frank DelloRusso in Miami or B. Kyle Morley in Tampa Bay.