Legal Articles

Unfair Prejudice, Evidence

Evidence is inadmissible if it is “unfairly prejudicial.” Stated differently, if the “prejudicial effect substantially outweighs the probative value, the evidence is unfairly prejudicial…and must be excluded.” Shallow v. Follwell, 554 S.W.3d 878, 885 (Mo. 2018). When is evidence “prejudicial”? “Evidence is prejudicial if it tends to lead the jury to decide the case on some basis…

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…

Expert Witness Admissibility

Trial courts have substantial discretion when deciding whether to admit evidence at trial. This discretion extends to expert witness testimony. On appeal, a trial court’s decision to admit or exclude expert testimony is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Spalding v. Stewart Title Guar Co., 463 S.W.3d 770, 778 (Mo. 2015). Not everything is discretionary….

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