A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
Miss. R. Evid. 702
Amended effective May 29, 2003 to clarify the gatekeeping responsibilities of the court in evaluating the admissibility of expert testimony; restyled eff. July 1, 2016.
Advisory Committee Note The language of Rule 702 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. Lower-case lettered subdivisions have replaced numbered paragraphs as first-level formatting. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility. The use of the hypothetical question has been justly criticized. Rule 702 permits an expert to testify by giving an opinion or any other form of testimony, such as an exposition. Rule 702 seeks to encourage the use of expert testimony in non-opinion form when counsel believes the trier can draw the requisite inference. The rule, however, does not abolish the use of opinions. As the Federal Rules Advisory Committee's Note pointed out, it will still be possible for an expert to take the next step of suggesting the inference which should be drawn from applying the specialized knowledge to the facts. As has long been the practice in Mississippi, Rule 702 recognizes that one may qualify as an expert in many fields in addition to science or medicine, such as real estate, cotton brokering, auto mechanics or plumbing. Boggs v. Eaton, 379 So.2d 520 (1980); Early-Gary, Inc. v. Walters, 294 So.2d 181 (Miss. 1974); Ludlow Corp. v. Arkwright-Boston Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co., 317 So.2d 47 (Miss. 1975). Rule 702 is the standard for the admission of expert testimony from such other fields as well as for scientific testimony. See Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999). By the 2003 amendment of Rule 702, the Supreme Court clearly recognizes the gate keeping responsibility of the trial court to determine whether the expert testimony is relevant and reliable. This follows the 2000 adoption of a like amendment to Fed. R. Evid., 702 adopted in response to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 509 U.S. 579 (1993). It is important to note that Rule 702 does not relax the traditional standards for determining that the witness is indeed qualified to speak an opinion on a matter within a purported field of knowledge, and that the factors mentioned in Daubert do not constitute an exclusive list of those to be considered in making the determination; Daubert's "list of factors was meant to be helpful, not definitive." Kumho, 526 U.S. at 151. See also Pepitone v. Biomatrix, Inc. 288 F. 3d 239 (5th Cir. 2002). [Amended May 29, 2003; "Advisory Committee Note" substituted for "Comment," effective June 16, 2016; amended July 1, 2016, to note restyling.] .