Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1974

Publication Title

Florida State Univeristy Law Review

Publication Title (Abbreviation)

Fla. St. U. L. Rev.





First Page


Last Page



The law of evidence had been codified in three states, California, New Jersey and Kansas, prior to the United States Supreme Court's promulgation of the Proposed Federal Rules of Evidence. The submission of the rules to the Congress, and their approval, as amended, by the House of Representatives served as the catalyst for renewed interest in evidence codification. Three states have recently adopted comprehensive Rules of Evidence that closely parallel the Proposed Federal Rules, and at least four other states, including Florida, have drafted or are actively considering the adoption of such a codification. During the 1974 session of the Florida Legislature, a comprehensive Code of Evidence (hereinafter referred to as the Code) was introduced. The Code was drafted and its adoption recommended by the Florida Law Revision Council (hereinafter referred to as the Council). The proposed Code, together with any further changes made by the Council, will be reintroduced for consideration by the 1975 Florida Legislature. In drafting the Code, an attempt was made to codify existing Florida evidence law. There was also an effort to recommend new provisions differing from the existing law when a significant improvement in the law of evidence was possible. To obtain the viewpoint of the practicing attorney, copies of the Preliminary Working Drafts were distributed to the bench and bar for comment and criticism. Many of the suggested changes were made by the Council's drafting committee and by the Council itself prior to submission of the Code to the legislature. Adoption of the Code would ease the research burden upon lawyers and judges by providing, in statutory form, the basic rules of evidence; its adoption would also ensure uniformity in the application of the rules of evidence in the various courts throughout the state. In addition, the Code provides certainty and stability in those areas where the law is unclear because of a paucity of decisions or conflict among them. Although the Code's sectional organization is similar to the Proposed Federal Rules, various sections differ more significantly in substance from that model than do the codifications adopted in other states. While most of the section numbers correspond to the number of the federal rule that pertains to the same subject, many of the Code provisions adopt an opposite view from the Proposed Federal Rules and others represent minor refinements. This article examines several of the provisions of the Code that significantly change existing Florida law or that the author feels should be explained in order to foster a thorough understanding of the significance of the Code.


© Florida State Univeristy Law Review 1974