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314.283.8930; henry@elsterlaw.com

Best Evidence Rule, Original Documentation

The best evidence rule generally requires that only original documentation may be admitted as evidence at trial to show the terms of the document/writing. A duplicate is not admissible under the best evidence rule. Interstate Distrib., Inc. v. Freeman, 904 S.W.2d 481,, 484 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995). It is a narrow rule and only applies […]

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Cross-Examination, Credibility, Impeachment

Credibility is always critical at trial. If a judge or jury does not find you credible, then they do not have to believe your testimony or claims. For this reason, the credibility of a witness is always relevant in a lawsuit. Mitchell v. Kardesch, 313 S.W.3d 667, 675 (Mo. 2010). After a witness testifies on […]

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Preserving a Motion for JNOV

A motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict (“JNOV”) is an after trial motion where a party asks the Court to overturn the jury’s verdict. The issue with a JNOV focuses on whether a plaintiff made a submissible case — that is, one which presents substantial evidence for every fact essential to liability. Payne v. Cornhusker […]

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Closing Arguments

Closing arguments in a jury trial is often the best time an attorney can persuade the jury. The evidence has been heard and there is an opportunity for an attorney, unlike when examining a witness on direct or cross-examination, to directly tell the jury (or judge) why the evidence justifies a decision in one party’s […]

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Expert Witness Testimony, Admissibility

In Missouri, expert testimony is admissible as long as the expert’s competence on the subject is superior to that of the ordinary juror and the expert’s opinion aids the jury in deciding an issue in the case. Freight House Lofts v. VSI Meter SVCS., 402 S.W.3d 586, 596 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013). “If the court finds that […]

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Voluntary Dismissals

In Missouri, a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit has unfettered authority to dismiss his/her/its lawsuit all the way up until a trial. Under Rule 67.02, a plaintiff may dismiss a civil lawsuit at any time prior to the swearing of the jury panel for jury selection. For judge-tried cases, a plaintiff may dismiss at any […]

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Special Masters

A special master is an individual appointed by the Court to handle one or more aspects of litigation. They were historically utilized by judges to assist with evidence and accounting. They are not mediators or arbitrators, but at times they can also seem to act as such. They are often appointed for a number of […]

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