Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 378
       By Senator Richter
       37-00133D-12                                           2012378__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to expert testimony; amending s.
    3         90.702, F.S.; providing that a witness qualified as an
    4         expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
    5         education may testify in the form of an opinion as to
    6         the facts at issue in a case under certain
    7         circumstances; requiring the courts of this state to
    8         interpret and apply the principles of expert testimony
    9         in conformity with specified United States Supreme
   10         Court decisions; subjecting pure opinion testimony to
   11         such requirements; amending s. 90.704, F.S.; providing
   12         that facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible in
   13         evidence may not be disclosed to the jury by the
   14         proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court
   15         determines that the probative value of the facts or
   16         data in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert’s
   17         opinion substantially outweighs the prejudicial effect
   18         of the facts or data; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 90.702, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   23  read:
   24         90.702 Testimony by experts.—
   25         (1) If scientific, technical, or other specialized
   26  knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the
   27  evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified
   28  as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
   29  education may testify about it in the form of an opinion, or
   30  otherwise, if:
   31         (a)The testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data;
   32         (b)The testimony is the product of reliable principles and
   33  methods; and
   34         (c)The witness has applied the principles and methods
   35  reliably to the facts of the case; however, the opinion is
   36  admissible only if it can be applied to evidence at trial.
   37         (2)The courts of this state shall interpret and apply the
   38  requirements of subsection (1) and s. 90.704 in accordance with
   39  Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579
   40  (1993); General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997); and
   41  Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999). Frye v.
   42  United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) and subsequent
   43  Florida decisions applying or implementing Frye no longer apply
   44  to subsection (1) or s. 90.704. All proposed expert testimony,
   45  including pure opinion testimony as discussed in Marsh v.
   46  Valyou, 977 So. 2d 543 (Fla. 2007), is subject to subsection (1)
   47  and s. 90.704.
   48         Section 2. Section 90.704, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   49  read:
   50         90.704 Basis of opinion testimony by experts.—The facts or
   51  data upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be
   52  those perceived by, or made known to, the expert at or before
   53  the trial. If the facts or data are of a type reasonably relied
   54  upon by experts in the subject to support the opinion expressed,
   55  the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence. Facts or
   56  data that are otherwise inadmissible shall not be disclosed to
   57  the jury by the proponent of the opinion or inference unless the
   58  court determines that their probative value in assisting the
   59  jury to evaluate the expert’s opinion substantially outweighs
   60  their prejudicial effect.
   61         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.