Task Force Recommends Adding “Same Specialty” Requirement to A.R.E. 702

The final report (2014 Ark. 47) of the Supreme Court Task Force on Practice and Procedure in Civil Cases was released today.   The prior interim report and proposals were previously discussed here:

https://reporteddecisions.com/2014/01/10/special-task-force-on-practice-and-procedure-issues-report/

This final report chronicles the history of the “same specialty” requirement in medical malpractice cases from Justice George Rose Smith’s decision in Cathey v. Williams, 290 Ark. 189 (1986), the enactment of Act 649, to the invalidation of the “same specialty” requirement in Broussard v. St. Edward Mercy Health System, Inc., 2012 Ark. 14 (as impinging on the authority of the court to decide who may testify under what conditions pursuant to Amendment 80).

The Task Force proposes to incorporate the “same specialty” requirement into Rule 702 of the Arkansas Rules of Evidence.   The proposed new rule can be found at page 11-12 of the report linked here:

http://opinions.aoc.arkansas.gov/WebLink8/0/doc/320270/Electronic.aspx

The Supreme Court has requested comments from the bench and bar.  They should be directed to:

Les Steen, Clerk of the Supreme Court
Attention: Task Force
Justice Building
625 Marshall Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
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