Nebraska Revised Statute 27-703
Chapter 27 Section 703
Rule 703. Bases of opinion testimony by experts; when revealed; admissibility.
The facts or data in the particular case upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to him at or before the hearing. If of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence.
- Laws 1975, LB 279, § 51.
This section contemplates admission of an expert's opinion based on hearsay supplying the facts or data for that opinion, rather than requiring firsthand knowledge as the only source of information for an expert's opinion. State v. Pruett, 263 Neb. 99, 638 N.W.2d 809 (2002).
Under this section, an expert may rely on hearsay facts or data reasonably relied upon by experts in that field. The admission into evidence of an expert's appraisal report was prejudicial error. State Dept. of Roads v. Whitlock, 262 Neb. 615, 634 N.W.2d 480 (2001).
An expert is allowed to base his or her opinion on data obtained before the hearing at which the expert is to testify. Gittins v. Scholl, 258 Neb. 18, 601 N.W.2d 765 (1999).
An expert medical witness may base an opinion on the medical records of another treating doctor when the records are of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field. The mere fact that an expert relied on medical records, however, does not transform those records from inadmissible hearsay to admissible evidence. Vacanti v. Master Electronics Corp., 245 Neb. 586, 514 N.W.2d 319 (1994).
Experts may rely on hearsay facts or data reasonably relied upon by experts in the field as a basis for their opinion. Brown v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 237 Neb. 855, 468 N.W.2d 105 (1991).
An expert may express an opinion in answering a hypothetical question, if the question and the opinion are based upon facts "perceived by or made known to him." Bernadt v. Suburban Air, Inc., 221 Neb. 537, 378 N.W.2d 852 (1985).
Generally, an expert witnesses' firsthand knowledge is a factor which may affect such witness' credibility and weight given to the testimony from such expert, but presence or absence of firsthand knowledge does not, by itself, necessarily establish preference or priority in evidentiary value. Gibson v. City of Lincoln, 221 Neb. 304, 376 N.W.2d 785 (1985).
An expert may base an opinion upon the otherwise inadmissible patient records of another treating doctor since the records are a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field. Clark v. Clark, 220 Neb. 771, 371 N.W.2d 749 (1985).
Expert testimony should not be received if it appears the witness is not in possession of such facts as will enable him to express a reasonably accurate conclusion as distinguished from a mere guess or conjecture. State v. Johnson, 215 Neb. 391, 338 N.W.2d 769 (1983).
When an assumption used by an expert is not proved untrue or to be without any basis in fact, whether the stated grounds for the assumption are credible is a jury question. Gary's Implement v. Bridgeport Tractor Parts, 281 Neb. 281, 799 N.W.2d 249 (2011).
In a hearing concerning an evaluation and treatment plan in a commitment proceeding, a report by a doctor did not constitute inadmissible hearsay. State v. Hayden, 233 Neb. 211, 444 N.W.2d 317 (1989).
The mere odor of alcohol, standing alone, is not sufficient to justify either a lay witness or an expert rendering an opinion as to whether one is intoxicated in violation of law. State v. Johnson, 215 Neb. 391, 338 N.W.2d 769 (1983).
Possible modification of rule relating to opinion of investigator as to point of impact discussed but not applied retrospectively. Rawlings v. Andersen, 195 Neb. 686, 240 N.W.2d 568 (1976).