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Legal Memorandum: Witness Credibility in LA

Issue: Under Louisiana law, do the appellate courts determine questions of witness credibility?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Credibility of witnesses; Findings of fact
Jurisdiction: Louisiana
Cited Cases: 65 So. 2d 122; 40 So. 2d 923; 874 So. 2d 791; 68 So. 2d 752; 215 La. 472; 224 La. 44; 549 So. 2d 840
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 10/01/2006

tc l1 "SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

It is a well-established principle of appellate law that in matters relating to the credibility of witnesses, the trial court’s findings of fact must be given great weight and should not be disturbed unless the findings are manifestly erroneous. 

[W]here there exists a glaring irreconcilable conflict in the testimony, it is necessary to pass upon primarily the question of the veracity of the witnesses.  To do that the trial judge occupies a much better position than does an appellate court, for he has the opportunity of hearing the witnesses and of observing their demeanor when testifying.  And that more advantageous position is the reason for the well recognized doctrine that where the credibility of witnesses is involved in the finding of fact of the trial judge must be given great weight and should not be disturbed unless manifestly erroneous.

TA s "Successions of Scardino, 215 La. 472, 484, 40 So. 2d" c 1 l "Successions of Scardino, 215 La. 472, 40 So. 2d 923 (1949)"Successions of Scardino, 215 La. 472, 484, 40 So. 2d 923, 927 (1949). See also TA s "Barlotta v. Walker, 223 La. 157, 160, 65 So. 2d 122," c 1 l "Barlotta v. Walker, 223 La. 157, 65 So. 2d 122 (1953)"Barlotta v. Walker, 223 La. 157, 160, 65 So. 2d 122, 123 (1953); TA s "Guin v. Comm’l Cas. Ins. Co., 224 La. 44, 55, 68 So." c 1 l "Guin v. Comml Cas. […]

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