Florida enacts Daubert standard for expert witness testimony

A little late to the party, the Florida legislature passed a bill to adopt the Daubert standard for expert testimony. It went into effect on July 1. Florida is now aligned with the federal courts and the majority of state courts that already have adopted Daubert, wholesale or in part. The new test replaces the state’s controversial, idiosyncratic Frye standard.

Under Daubert, the court functions as a gatekeeper, admitting only testimony from a witness who qualifies as an expert in the field, whose testimony is helpful to the jury, is relevant, and is “the product of reliable principles and methods.” Opponents of the new legislation contended that the introduction of a Daubert-like standard will lead to prolonged litigation because of the resulting Daubert challenges and hearings.