Legal Memorandum: Exclusion of otherwise relevant evidence

Issue: Under the New Mexico Rules of Evidence, what determines when may a court exclude otherwise relevant evidence?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: ; Keyword(s): Evidence; Relevancy; Exclusion; Rule 403
Jurisdiction: New Mexico
Cited Cases: 127 N.M. 397
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2015

[A] trial court’s ruling on a motion in limine regarding the admission or exclusion of evidence is reviewed under the abuse-of-discretion standard. Illinois Department of Transportation ex rel. People v. Raphael, 2014 IL App. (2d) 130029, ¶¶ 16-20 (citing Maggi v. RAS Development, Inc., 2011 IL App. (1st) 091955, ¶ 61). As it pertains to judicial estoppel, though, both parties discuss differing standards of review in their respective briefs. However, the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent opinion, Seymour v. Collins, 2015 IL 118432, clarifies that we are to apply the abuse-of-discretion standard. Id. ¶ 48.

In Seymour, our supreme court set out the following procedural and analytical sequence for judicial estoppel:

First, the trial court must determine whether the prerequisites for application of judicial estoppel are met. In this respect, the party to be estopped must have (1) taken two positions, (2) that are factually inconsistent, (3) in separate judicial or quasi-judicial administrative proceedings, (4) intending for the trier of fact to accept the truth of the facts alleged, and (5) have succeeded in the first proceeding and received some benefit from it. [Citations.] We note, even if all factors are found, intent to deceive or mislead is not necessarily present, as inadvertence or mistake may account for positions taken and facts asserted. Second, if all prerequisites have been established, the trial court must determine whether to apply judicial estoppel-an action requiring the exercise of discretion. Multiple factors may inform the court’s decision, […]