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Credible Evidence

It is difficult to overstate the significant of credible evidence in Court. Even if you have undisputed evidence, you can still lose on a claim if the judge or jury simply does not find it credible or believable. Therefore, there are two components to proving a claim or contention: (1) the burden to produce evidence and […]

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Judicial Notice

To prove facts at trial, you need to typically present evidence or a stipulation as to certain facts. Evidence generally comes in the form of witness testimony and/or documentation. In some cases, the Court may take “judicial notice” of things that are “commonly known.” Mince v. Mince, 481 S.W.3d 610 (Mo. Ct. App. 1972). For instance, […]

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Attorney-Client Privilege, Waiver

Although most of the general public is familiar with the concept of the attorney-client privilege, its elements are quite narrow and specific. The attorney-client privilege applies if (1) there is an attorney-client relationship at the time the communication was made or advice was given and (2)  relationship existed with respect to the subject matter of the […]

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Motions in Limine and Exclusion of Evidence

A motion in limine (i.e., at the threshold) is a request to a Court to exclude certain evidence from being introduced at trial. It is a preliminary expression of the court’s opinion as to the admissibility of evidence. Brown v. Hamid, 856 S.W.2d 51, 55 (Mo. 1993). Practically, it further serves the purpose of notifying other […]

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Spoliation of Evidence

Cases sink or swim based on the facts and evidence. Accordingly, it is paramount to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the facts, especially from the discovery process. There are circumstances, however, where a party to the case or a third party destroys evidence. Legally, this can result in severe evidentiary rulings. Spoliation […]

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Evidence on Summary Judgment

In simple terms, summary judgment can occur when there is no dispute about the key facts and one party wins because the law mandates that they prevail in light of those key, undisputed facts. Summary judgment is not a trial with a judge or jury where facts are determined. Granting summary judgment, however, usually disposes […]

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Offers of Judgment, Court Costs & Fees

Courts almost universally favor litigants reaching a settlement rather than thrusting a decision on them. To further this objective, several rules exist which encourage settlement. One such rule is the offer of judgment rule in Missouri Supreme Court Rule 77.04. In the context of litigation, fees usually refers to attorney fees and costs refer to […]

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Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witnesses are sometimes required in trials to assist a judge/jury reach a conclusion. In civil actions, section 490.065, RSMo, controls the admission and exclusion of expert testimony in Missouri — if scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a […]

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Marital Privilege Communication, Divorce

The law contains a number of exceptions as to when a person may be compelled by a Court to testify. Common examples include when the attorney-client privilege applies or when the 5th amendment privilege against self-incrimination applies. Attorneys cannot be compelled to testify as to the subject matter of their legal communications with a client […]

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