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Mississippi Supreme Court Modifications to Rules of Discovery


The Mississippi Supreme Court amended Rule 26 of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure that address the general rules of discovery, effective January 1, 2020. The changes address numerous rules dealing with expert witnesses – specifically expert reports, depositions, disclosures of qualifications, and the discovery of draft reports and correspondence with attorneys.

Of course, I am not an attorney – so read with caution! The following is my interpretation of the changes to Rule 26 that will impact expert witnesses in Mississippi.

Rule 26(b)(4)(A)(i) – (ii) – Effectively requires that all information contained in a Federal Rule 26 expert report be disclosed to the opposing side through interrogatories. While it does not seem to require an expert report, that may be the most practical way to satisfy the requirement.

Rule 26(b)(4)(A)(ii) – Like the federal rules, this directs that experts must disclose their qualifications, ten years of publications, and their compensation. However, unlike the federal rules which require four years of disclosure, the Mississippi rules require all cases in which the expert testified must be listed going back ten (10) years.

Rule 26(b)(4)(A)(iv) & (4)(E) – Experts can be deposed by opposing counsel, subject to payment of the expert’s reasonable fee.

Rule 26(b)(4)(C)-(D) – Sec (C) protects draft interrogatory (or report) responses or other expert disclosures from discovery. Sec. (D) conformed the protections of attorney and expert communications to the federal rules, that limit disclosures to only certain specific communications.

I hope you have found this helpful. If I can be of assistance or you would like to discuss these changes, please feel free to reach out.

Robert Alexander

Robert serves as an expert witness regarding economic damages, accounting matters, forensic accounting, and business valuation. He also routinely performs business valuations for a variety of non-litigation purposes.