Legal Articles

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….

Lay Witness Testimony, Personal Knowledge

Unless someone is qualified as an expert witness in Missouri, witnesses may not ordinarily offer opinions at trial; instead, they usually testify about facts within his or her “personal knowledge.” State v. Sanders, 842 S.W.2d 916, 919 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992). In other words, lay witnesses are permitted to testify as to “perceptible facts” regarding the event(s)…

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