Legal Articles

Witness Sequestration Rule

“Witness sequestration” refers to a Court barring witnesses from the court room when a trial is being conducted. The purpose of the rule is two-fold: (1) it prevents a witness from “tailoring” testimony and it (2) aids in detecting testimony that is less than candid. Mitch Crawford Holiday Motors, 987 S.W.2d 359, 365 (Mo. App….

Leading Questions

A “leading question” is generally one which suggests its own answer. They usually only are permitted on cross-examination. However, whether to allow the use of leading questions otherwise — like on direct examination — is up to the trial judge’s discretion. King v. Copp Trucking, Inc., 853 S.W.2d 304, 309 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993). Even…

Adequate Period of Time for Discovery, Summary Judgment

A summary judgment is essentially a trial without having to go through the “traditional” in-person trial process. It is typically entered for one party where based on certain undisputed facts that party is legally entitled to a judgment in his, her or its favor. Procedurally, however, a “motion for summary judgment should be denied, or…

Misjoinder, Separate Trials

In complex, multi-claim cases, the Court may order separate trials or a misjoinder/nonjoinder. Under Rule 66.02, a court has discretion to order separate trials of claims within one case for “convenience, to avoid prejudice or to promote judicial economy.” In re Competency of Parkus, 219 S.W.3d 250, 253 (Mo. 2007). The separate trial may be…

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