Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Court Watch Continues (Updated Periodically)

Currently, the workers' compensation world is watching the Florida Supreme Court regarding adoption of "rules of evidence." 

The Florida Legislature adopted the Daubert standard for scientific evidence. That is described in my post To D or not to D, That it Appears is the Question

The Florida Supreme Court will decide whether to adopt that standard. Oral arguments are scheduled. the Florida Bar has voted to decline this change and retain the Frye standard. The point for workers' compensation is of questionable importance. 

The Supreme Court has already decided it lacks any authority to define rules for the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). See In re Rules of Workers' Compensation Procedure891 So.2d 474 (Fla. 2004). This Office is part of the Executive Branch. 

Some predict the Supreme Court will remain silent regarding the OJCC. I which case, the argument is that Daubert, as adopted by the Florida Legislature is the law in workers' compensation procedings. 

Others predict the Supreme Court will specifically address workers' compensation procedings if it elects to retain the Frye standard in Florida constitutional court cases. 

Still others contend that the Court cannot remove the statutory Daubert standard from workers' compensation and that it will so state. 

The case is SC 16-181. The Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Experience has taught us that the Court's decision may come anytime thereafter. Some decisions have been more than two years after argument.