Georgia tort reform — Daubert adopted in civil cases only
Georgia’s tort reform bill (SB 3, effective in all pending cases effective 2/16/05) includes the adoption of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 regarding expert testimony, in civil cases only. Some have observed that “junk science” is now good enough to support capital punishment in Georgia, but not good enough to require an insurance company to part with cash.
There was virtually no discussion of this portion of SB 3 in either committees or on the floor of either house of the General Assembly. It appeared that hardly anyone in the legislature understood it well or gave it much thought. It was simply part of the tort reform package that the Chamber of Commerce lobbyists presented. Genuine debate, deliberation, discussion, amendments and calm reflection of consequences were not to be tolerated. When the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee proposed to break up the tort reform proposals into separate bills, to be considered each on their own merits, the bill was removed from the Judiciary Committee and placed in a special tort reform committee.
The statute expressly references the Daubert, Joiner and Kumho Tire cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, and directs that “the intent of the legislature that, in all civil cases, the courts of the State of Georgia not be viewed as open to expert evidence that would not be admissible in other states.”
Ken Shigley represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia (2011-12), a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks). He and Sally have been married since 1983, and are the proud parnts of two young adults, Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr.