Testimony of treating physicians under Daubert
Admissibility of expert testimony in both federal and state courts in Georgia is now governed by the Daubert standards. See Federal Rule of Evidence 702; O.C.G.A § 24-9-67.1 (effective 2/16/05); Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993); General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, 118 S.Ct. 512, 139 L.Ed.2d 508 (1997); Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 119 S.Ct. 1167, 143 L.Ed. 2d 238 (1999).
“Deference is the hallmark” of appellate review of judges’ discretionary rulings on Daubert issues. Cook ex rel. Estate of Tessier v. Sheriff of Monroe, 402 F.3d 1092 (11th Cir., 2005). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Daubert rulings “unless . . . the district court has made a clear error of judgment, or has applied the wrong legal standard.” U.S. v. Frazier, 387 F.3d 1244, 1258 (11th Cir.2004). Trial courts have discretion in determining their approach to the reliability analysis in any given case, and must make a practical, flexible consideration of the relevant factors and the circumstances of the case. Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 119 S.Ct. 1167, 143 L.Ed. 2d 238 (1999). Because a trial court is given such broad latitude in deciding the reliability of an expert opinion, it can decide the weight to give various factors in admitting expert testimony. U.S. v. Abreu, 406 F.3d 1304 (11th Cir., 2005).
The Shigley Law Firm 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 “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is 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).