Article VII. Opinions and Expert Testimony

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Rule 704: Opinion on ultimate issue.

Testimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact.

Advisory Commission Comments.

The Supreme Court has already approved this language. City of Columbia v. C.F.W. Construction Co., 557 S.W.2d 734 (Tenn. 1977). But Blackburn v. Murphy, 737 S.W.2d 529 (Tenn. 1987), places limitations on lay witnesses testifying to some ultimate issues, such as whether an accident was unavoidable.

Advisory Commission Comments [1996].

One ultimate issue is outside the scope of expert testimony. T.C.A. § 39-11-501 provides that "no expert witness may testify as to whether the defendant was or was not insane."

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