Explicit and Implicit Credibility

When arguing cases on appeal, it is virtually impossible to overturn a credibility determination made in the lower court. Indeed, appellate courts “defer to the trial court’s credibility determinations.” Federal Nat. Mortg. Ass’n v. Wilson, 409 S.W.3d 490, 494 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013). The reason for this deference is that lower courts in a better position to gauge the “sincerity and character and other trial intangibles which may not be completely revealed by the record.” In re Adoption of W.B.L., 681 S.W.2d 452, 455 (Mo. 1984).

Not only can a trial court make express credibility determinations, but its decision may suggest implied credibility determinations. See In re Marriage of Mapes, 848 S.W.2d 634, 648 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993) (the trial court’s judgment can reveal the court’s implicit credibility determinations),

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