law-exclusion-of-evidence | mandatory exclusion due to failure to designate witness failure to
disclose | admission and exclusion of evidence - preservation of complaint for appellate review
EXCLUSION OF EVIDENCE CASELAW CLIPS
Evidentiary rulings admitting or excluding evidence are committed to the trial court's sound
discretion; Bay Area Healthcare Group, LTD. v. McShane, 239 S.W.3d 231, 234 (Tex. 2007);
American Protection Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 171 S.W.3d 921, 923 (Tex.App.--Amarillo 2005, no pet.),
and, even if a trial court errs by improperly admitting evidence, reversal is warranted only if the
error probably caused the rendition of an improper judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 44.1;
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Malone, 972 S.W.2d 35, 43 (Tex. 1998). Further, we review the
entire record and require the complaining party to demonstrate that the judgment turns on the
particular evidence admitted. Bay Area Healthcare Group, LTD., 239 S.W.3d at 234. See Allen v.
Creditwatch Services, LLC, 236 S.W.3d 315, 324 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 2007, pet. denied )
("complaining party must usually show that the whole case turned on the evidence at issue").
HARMFUL ERROR RULE
Evidentiary rulings do not usually cause reversible error unless an appellant can demonstrate that
the judgment turns on the particular evidence that was admitted or excluded. City of Brownsville v.
Alvarado, 897 S.W.2d 750, 753-54 (Tex. 1995); Benavides, 189 S.W.3d at 879. An error in the
exclusion of evidence requires reversal if it is both controlling on a material issue and not
cumulative. Mentis v. Barnard, 870 S.W.2d 14, 16 (Tex. 1994).
A successful challenge to evidentiary rulings usually requires the complaining party to show that
the judgment turns on the particular evidence excluded or admitted. Brownsville v. Alvarado, 897
S.W.2d 750, 753-54 (Tex.1995). In determining if the excluded evidence probably resulted in the
rendition of an improper judgment, a court must review the entire record. McCraw v. Maris, 828
S.W.2d 756, 758 (Tex.1992); Gee v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 765 S.W.2d 394, 396 (Tex. 1989). A
court ordinarily will not reverse a judgment for erroneous rulings on admissibility of evidence when
the evidence in question is cumulative and not controlling on a material issue dispositive to the
case. Gee, 765 S.W.2d at 396. To obtain a reversal of a judgment based on error in the exclusion
of evidence, an appellant must show that the trial court's ruling was in error and that the error was
calculated to cause and probably did cause the rendition of an improper judgment. TEX.R.APP. P.
44.1; Alvarado, 897 S.W.2d at 753; McCraw, 828 S.W.2d at 757.
STANDARD OF REVIEW OF EVIDENTIARY RULINGS ON APPEAL -We
review the trial court's rulings concerning the admission or exclusion of evidence for an abuse of
discretion. See In re J.P.B., 189 S.W.3d 570, 575 (Tex. 2005). An abuse of discretion occurs only
when the court's decision is made without reference to any guiding rules and principles or is
arbitrary or unreasonable. Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701 S.W.2d 238, 241-42 (Tex.
1985). We must uphold the trial court's evidentiary ruling if there is any legitimate basis for it. See
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Malone, 972 S.W.2d 35, 43 (Tex. 1998). Moreover, we will not
reverse a judgment based on a claimed error in admitting or excluding evidence unless the
complaining party shows that the error probably resulted in an improper judgment. Tex. R. App. P.
44.1; Malone, 972 S.W.2d at 43; City of Brownsville v. Alvarado, 897 S.W.2d 750, 753 (Tex. 1995).
A successful challenge to a trial court's evidentiary rulings requires the complaining party to
demonstrate that the judgment turns on the particular evidence excluded or admitted. Texas Dep't
of Transp. v. Able, 35 S.W.3d 608, 617 (Tex. 2000).
We review rulings regarding the admissibility of evidence under an abuse of discretion standard.
See City of Brownsville v. Alvarado, 897 S.W.2d 750, 753 (Tex. 1995). In an abuse of discretion
review, the appellate court will consider whether the trial court acted arbitrarily, unreasonably, or
without regard for guiding rules and principles of law. Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701
S.W.2d 238, 241-42 (Tex. 1985). To warrant reversal based on an evidentiary error, the
complainant must also demonstrate, in light of the entire record in the case, that the error probably
caused the rendition of an improper judgment. See Tex.R.App.P. 44.1(a)(1); State v. Cent.
Expressway Sign Associates, 302 S.W.3d 866, 870 (Tex. 2009). When erroneously admitted or
excluded evidence was crucial to a key issue, the error is most likely harmful. Cent. Expressway
Sign Associates, 302 S.W.3d at 870. On the other hand, the admission or exclusion of a particular
exhibit is likely harmless if the evidence was cumulative of other evidence in the record, or the if the
balance of the evidence in the case was so one-sided that the error was not likely to have affected
the judgment. Id.
TEXAS SUPREME COURT CASES REGARDING EXCLUSION OF
STATE'S CONDEMNATION DAMAGES EXPERT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN STRUCK, COURT
State of Texas v. Central Expressway Sign Ass'n. No. 08-0061 (Tex. Jun. 26,
2009)(O'Neill)(admissibility of expert testimony, methods of appraising value of condemned
property, here billboard easement)(exclusion of expert witness testimony was erroneous and
harmful, judgment reversed)
THE STATE OF TEXAS v. CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY SIGN ASSOCIATES, ET AL.; from Dallas
County; 5th district (05-06-00003-CV, 238 SW3d 800, 08-31-07)
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and remands the case to the trial court.
Justice O'Neill delivered the opinion of the Court. [pdf]
View E-Briefs in THE STATE OF TEXAS v. CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY SIGN ASSOCIATES (Tex.
State of Texas v. Bristol Hotel Asset Co., No. 07-0896 (Tex. May 15, 2009)(per curiam)
(condemnation takings claim, uncompensable losses, lost revenue testimony should have been
THE STATE OF TEXAS v. BRISTOL HOTEL ASSET CO.; from Bexar County; 4th district
(04-06-00150-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 07-18-07)
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 59.1, after granting the petition for review and
without hearing oral argument, the Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and remands the
case to the trial court.
Per Curiam Opinion.
USDR, INC. AND JOHN ROBINSON v. CABOT CAPITAL CORPORATION AND CABOT ESTATES,
LLC; from Tarrant County; 8th district (08-07-00202-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 04-30-09, pet. denied
(witness testimony should have been excluded)
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