Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald
Who decides if evidence was properly admitted in a trial and what standard is used to make that determination?
The South Dakota Supreme Court gives "broad discretion" to the trial court judge in deciding whether to admit or exclude evidence.
The trial court's evidentiary rulings are presumed correct and will not be overturned by our Supreme Court absent a clear "abuse of discretion."
An abuse of discretion refers to an end or purpose not justified by, or clearly against reason and evidence.
This legal standard is easily stated, but not always so easily applied in a particular circumstance.
It was applied recently in The Surgical Institute of South Dakota, P.C. v. Sorrell, M.D., 2012 S.D. 48, where the court and jury found in favor of the doctor and against the medical clinic in an employment dispute.
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