Photographic Evidence, Admissibility

Visual aides are often very persuasive with judges and juries at trial. To that end, parties will sometimes use photographs and videos as evidence at trial. 

In determining whether a photograph is legally relevant, material and admissible as evidence, a court has discretion. McCutcheon v. Cape Mobile Home Mart, 796 S.W.2d 901, 907 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990). A photograph must be practical, instructive and calculated to assist both the jury and the court in understanding the case. Cryts v. Ford Motor Co., 571 S.W.2d 683, 691 (Mo. Ct. App. 1978). 

Furthermore, as with all evidence, photographs that have a potential to confuse the issues and mislead the jury may properly be excluded if the harm outweighs the probative value that they may have. Haffey v. Generac Portable Prods., L.L.C., 171 S.W.3d 805, 9809 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005). 


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