FSU Expert: Daubert Ruling Not Crystal Clear

Feb 17, 2017

A Florida State University law professor considered an authority on evidence rules predicts a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling will only sew confusion.

A divided Supreme Court refused to adopt the Daubert standard for qualifying expert witnesses, but a Florida law still stands.
Credit Florida Supreme Court

Justices refused to adopt the Legislature’s stricter standards for expert witnesses, commonly known as “Daubert,” but did not strike down the law. FSU emeritus professor Charles Ehrhardt says the ruling sends a conflicting message.

“It’s going to be difficult I think for trial judges and there will probably not be uniformity for a while in whether trial judges say, ‘well the court’s really rejecting Daubert and we’re going to go back to the old rule.’”

Business and conservative groups prefer “Daubert,” saying it makes it harder for so-called “junk science” to sway juries. Critics say the more liberal “Frye” standard raises fewer concerns about access to the courts.