Client Alert: Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Admissibility of Video Evidence at Trial

The Texas Supreme Court recently clarified the application of Texas Rule of Evidence 403 to video evidence in a personal-injury case.  In Diamond Offshore Services Limited et al. v. Williams, the Court set forth a bright line rule for trial courts confronted with the admissibility of a video during trial – the proper exercise of discretion requires the trial court to actually view the video evidence before ruling on its admissibility. As smartphones with sophisticated video capabilities become commonplace, we can expect to see more video evidence in the courtroom, as well as a continuing trend of courts grappling with how to apply evidentiary rules to this new technology. This Client Alert provides an overview of this important decision and provides practical guidance to practitioners on both sides of the docket with respect to the admission of video evidence.