In Law360's midyear report of the most significant cases of the 2018 term of the Texas Supreme Court—which ended June 29—litigation attorney Bradley Hancock helped discuss the Diamond Offshore Services Ltd. v. Williams case.
The case was tossed out by the Texas Supreme Court because it found the $9.6 million injury verdict by a trial court against Diamond Offshore Services Ltd. invalid; the high court decided that the case will get a new trial after the previous trial court chose to exclude an important video from evidence without watching it first.
According to Mr. Hancock, the court's unanimous opinion was noteworthy for two reasons. First, "the ruling provides guidance to trial judges that the court expects them to review the evidence." Second, "the court took a rare step and actually analyzed the evidence that hadn't been watched and held it should have been admissible and was improperly excluded."
Mr. Hancock added that it is "unusual for the high court to weigh or balance the evidence in a case under the Texas Rule of Evidence 403 because they usually defer to the trial court to handle that" and cautioned "the ruling shouldn't be taken as a 'blanket approval' by the court."
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