June 20, 2017 feature

Constitutional Concerns Lead to Rejection of Daubert Test

State high court discards prevailing standard for scientific evidence admissibility

By Kelso L. Anderson

Citing “grave constitutional concerns,” a high state court has rejected the prevailing relevance and reliability standard for admissibility of expert scientific evidence in trial courts in favor of a less-accepted general acceptance standard.

In re Amendments to the Florida Evidence Code. The decision puts Florida in a group of 13 states that follows the general acceptance standard of Frye v. United States. The national trend is in favor of adopting the relevance and reliability standard of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., but politics has prevented the adoption of that prevailing standard in some jurisdictions, according to ABA Section of Litigation leaders.

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