Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


Previous surveys have addressed the trend--or at least what the author perceives to be the trend--of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in recent years to defer more to district court judges' evidentiary decisions. This trend can be contrasted with the activism displayed by Eleventh Circuit judges in decisions discussed in earlier survey articles. However, the 1996 Eleventh Circuit decision in Joiner v. General Electric Co. bucked this trend and applied a very rigid level of scrutiny to a trial court decision to exclude expert testimony. During the current survey period, the Supreme Court reversed Joiner because of its heightened level of scrutiny. It would seem that the Supreme Court has sent a clear message that the abuse of discretion standard of review governing evidentiary issues truly requires an "abuse" of discretion.

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