Cruz-Alvarez and Madsen Discuss Daubert Development

Shook Partner Frank Cruz-Alvarez and Of Counsel Melissa Madsen have authored an article on a Florida Supreme Court decision affecting expert testimony standards in the state. "The Florida Supreme Court’s decision is the latest development in a multi-year saga over whether Florida courts should embrace the standard used by federal courts and a majority of other states, or continue to apply its more lenient Frye standard," Cruz-Alvarez and Madsen explain. "Effective immediately, trial courts must now act as gatekeepers before permitting a jury to hear and consider expert testimony."
The authors explain the Florida Supreme Court's determination that the Frye standard applied and its reconsideration and eventual readoption of the Daubert standard. "The state high court’s re-embrace of Daubert is significant for several reasons," Cruz-Alvarez and Madsen write. "First, the substantive change will affect the quality of the expert testimony and evidence presented to juries in Florida. In other words, the change should weed out frivolous claims based on junk science. Second and equally significant is the urgency reflected in the timing of the court’s ruling. The fact that the court did not wait for a new 'case or controversy' suggests that it feels strongly that adherence to the Daubert standard is important, and is sending a message to trial judges that there is now a majority on the Court that will ensure that junk science has no place in a court of law in Florida."