Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has signed into law a bill (H.B. 7015) that replaces the state’s “general acceptance” Frye standard for the admissibility of expert testimony with the more rigorous federal Daubert standard. According to Scott, “These are reasonable standards, yet they weren’t practiced in Florida. In fact, Florida was the only state in the South that did not use this common sense method for determining who is an expert. By signing H.B. 7015 into law, we will create a fairer system for Florida families.”
Critics called the reform unnecessary, and Florida Justice Association Executive Director Debra Henley said, “The bill the governor signed this morning will make it difficult and, in many cases, cost-prohibitive to introduce critical expert witness testimony in a case. As a result, trials will be won not on the grounds of who has the strongest case, but rather who has the largest bank account.” According to a news source, Henley also claims that the new law could be challenged on the ground that the state legislature lacks the authority to prescribe rules for the state court system. See Law360 and Florida Gov. Rick Scott News Release, June 5, 2013.