RULE 704. OPINION ON AN ULTIMATE ISSUE
Testimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not
because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact.
An opinion is not objectionable just because it embraces an ultimate issue.
Rule 704 was amended, effective March 1, 2014.
This rule is
taken from Rule based on Fed.R.Ev. 704 of
the Federal Rules of Evidence. It
should be noted that this rule applies to the opinions of lay witnesses, whenever admissible,
as well as to opinions of experts.
This rule omits language found in Fed.R.Ev. 704 (b), which bars opinion testimony in a criminal case on whether the defendant had a "mental state or condition that constitutes an element of the crime charged or of a defense." This rule does not bar this type of testimony.
Rule 704 was amended, effective March 1, 2014, in response to the December 1, 2011, revision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. The term "inference" was deleted to make the rule flow better and because any "inference" is covered by the broader term "opinion." There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes
: of September 27, 2012,
page 6; April 26-27,
2012, page 32; June 3, 1976, page 7. Rule Fed.R.Ev.
704 , Federal Rules of Evidence; Rule
704, SBAND proposal.
Considered: N.D.C.C. §§ 12.1-04.1-03, 12.1-04.1-04, 12.1-04.1-13.