Expert witness bill faces critical test in Senate

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Coalition for Legal Reform today urged the Florida Senate Rules Committee to pass Senate Bill 1412 without amendment.  This legislation sponsored by Senator Garrett Richter, would replace Florida’s outdated expert evidence standard with the modern Daubert Standard, and institute a multi-faceted test to determine the admissibility of expert testimony. 

“The Coalition for Legal Reform urges the Florida Senate Rules Committee to pass Senator Richter’s good bill that would replace Florida’s outdated, 90-year-old Frye Standard with the modern Daubert Standard used in all federal courts and 20 states,” said David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber. 

“The precise language in the bill adopting the Daubert Standard is well-known and well-understood by our legal system,” said Hart. “Any last-minute amendment at this point would just keep Florida stuck in the past, and nowhere closer to fixing the problem. We urge the Senate to adopt the bill without amendment.” 

The Florida Chamber’s Coalition for Legal Reform stands in support of key legal reforms that will improve Florida’s dismal legal climate and will alleviate the burdensome lawsuit abuse tax that weighs heavily on the shoulders of all Floridians. These reforms include updating Florida’s expert evidence standard, adopting the Fair Settlement Act, reforming Florida’s medical liability laws and reforming our system of accuracy in damages. 

The House companion bill relating to expert testimony, House Bill 7015, sponsored by Representative Larry Metz, passed the House on Thursday and is in Messages.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.