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rules of evidence

Expert witness standard takes center stage at Florida Supreme Court

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The Florida Bar squared off Thursday against a coalition of corporate and criminal defense lawyers over a change to the state’s expert witness standard. The Florida Supreme Court heard more than an hour of argument on whether to adopt a change to evidence law that lawmakers passed in 2013. The Bar is against it; defense counsel supports it. The switch would align Florida’s courts with the federal system. The federal courts now follow a stricter standard of allowing certain scientific…

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Appellate court approves of controversial evidence standard

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A state appeals court has upheld the retroactive use of a contentious evidence standard approved by lawmakers in 2013. The 4th District Court of Appeal this week affirmed a trial court ruling against plaintiff Simona Bunin. She’s one of the inventors behind a line of spray-bottle flavored olive oils. Bunin, based in South Florida, also holds a patent for a disposable women’s panty. She wanted to use an expert to help prove her case that she lost her sense of smell after using Zicam nasal…

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Florida Bar punts on controversial evidence standard

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The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors on Friday postponed consideration of taking a formal stand on an evidence law change favored by Gov. Rick Scott and conservative lawmakers. The change was actually passed into law two years ago but the courts have yet to follow it. Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said the board, meeting in Atlantic Beach, “tabled” an agenda item on the Daubert standard. Members needed more time to study it; the item will be back at the December meeting, she said. The…

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Will Legislature and Florida Bar get into tug of war over obscure court rule?

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A fight over an important but otherwise obscure evidentiary standard used in court cases looms later this week. The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors will consider whether to recommend rejecting a change in evidence law that’s favored by conservative lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott. It promises to revive, at least temporarily, the debate over “tort reform,” the buzzphrase that Big Business uses to signal it’s getting sued too much and losing too often. Two years ago, the Legislature approved and Scott signed…

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