MRE 103 Amended

May 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

The MSSC entered an order on May 26 amending MRE 103. The full text of the order and the amended rule are at this link.

This particular rule change adds a subparagraph (3) to R103(a) that reads as follows:

 (3) Effects of Definitive Rulings. Once the court makes a definitive ruling on the record admitting or excluding evidence, either at or before trial, a party need not renew an objection or offer of proof to preserve a claim of error for appeal. Moreover, a party who objects to evidence of a prior conviction the court finds admissible in a definitive ruling does not waive or forfeit a claim of error by offering the evidence. But if under the court’s ruling there is a condition precedent to admission or exclusion, such as the introduction of certain testimony or the pursuit of a certain claim or defense, no claim of error may be predicated upon the ruling unless the condition precedent is satisfied.

This brings Mississippi’s R103 closer to the federal counterpart.

I’ll leave it to you to puzzle out exactly how this might affect your practice, but I think the key word is renew, meaning that once the court has ruled definitely on admissibility, nothing needs to be renewed. It does not mean that an offer of proof per R103(a)(2) is not necessary to place the controverted evidence into the record. I also think as a practical matter that this will have greater application in criminal cases, where pre-trial exclusionary orders have been entered, than it will in chancery matters.

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