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Court amends evidence code on admissibility issue.

Lawyers do not have to make a trial objection to preserve a judge's evidentiary ruling for appeal when the judge has made a definitive ruling on the admissibility of evidence.

The Supreme Court made that change to [section] 90.104(1)(b) of the Florida Evidence Code to comport with changes made by the legislature in 2003. The amendments were also recommended by the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee.

"[T]he committee feels that the amendment is consistent with this Court's prior decision in Sheffield v. Superior Insurance Co., 800 So. 2d 197,203 (Fla. 2001) (holding that 'once a trial court makes an unequivocal ruling admitting evidence over a movant's motion in limine, the movant's subsequent introduction of that evidence does not constitute a waiver of the error for appellate review')," the court said in its October 20 per curiam opinion.

"Next, the committee explains that it was the position of a number of its members who practice criminal law that the amendment to section 90.104 would reduce the number of motions for postconviction relief filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. The committee also points out that the change is consistent with changes made to Federal Rule of Evidence 103(a)(2) in 2000."

The court acted in In re: Amendments to the Florida Evidence Code--Section 90.104, case No. SC05-685. The changes are effective retroactive to the effective date of the legislation.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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