Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daubert Jury Instruction Florida

    This past week I had the honor of making a presentation on scientific evidence at the annual "Life Over Death" conference. One topic of conversation was the impact of Florida becoming a Daubert state as of July 1, 2013. I suggested that attorneys might want to start requesting special jury instructions in light of this change.
     In response, Jacksonville attorney (and all around good person) Teresa Sopp has drafted an initial proposed jury instruction concerning expert witness testimony in criminal cases. I see this as a good starting point:

              NUMBER             AS TO DAUBERT ISSUES

     Expert witnesses are like other witnesses, with one exception -- the law permits an expert to give his/her opinion.
     In determining whether an expert’s opinion is reliable, you should consider the following:

          1.   Whether the opinion testimony based on sufficient facts or data;

          2.   Whether the opinion testimony the product of reliable principles and methods; and

          3.   Whether the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

     Like other witnesses, you may believe or disbelieve all or any part of an expert’s testimony.

                                    Respectfully submitted,

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