The Florida Chamber of Commerce on Thursday named Yalaha Republican Larry Metz its 2013 Most Valuable Legislator for his work to toughen standards for testimony accepted by by Florida courts.
The award was announced during a Chamber Board of Directors meeting in Pensacola.
Metz was honored for successfully sponsoring – on the third try – a bill to change the standards of expert testimony Florida courts accept, bringing them into line with the standards used in federal courts and those of 20 other states, according to a Chamber news release.
The standard Metz championed is known as the Daubert Standard, after the Supreme Court case that established it.
“Thanks to the great work of Representative Metz, Florida’s expert evidence standards now move into the 21st Century and join 20 other states already using a pure Daubert Standard …,” Chamber Executive Vice President David Hart said in the release.
“Updating Florida’s expert evidence standards will help improve on Florida’s 41st worst legal climate ranking and will allow Florida’s state courts to join the U.S. Supreme Court, all federal courts and every state in the Southeast in using the Daubert Standard.”
Metz, an attorney who was first elected to the state House in 2010, was stymied in getting the measure passed in 2011 and 2012, according to the release. He aimed to share the credit for success this year.
“With strong leadership (from) the Florida Chamber of Commerce, many interested parties came together and supported this important legislation,” he said in the release.
“This honor must be shared with many others responsible for the passage of this legislation, including the outstanding Senate sponsor, President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Tom Lee, House Judiciary Committee Chair Dennis Baxley, and Speaker Will Weatherford.”
Previous winners include former House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park (2012); state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale (2011); and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine (2010); Richter, R-Naples (2009); Rep. Dennis Ross (2008); Rep. Stan Mayfield, R-Vero Beach (2007); Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs (2006); and former House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City (2005).
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