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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What Happens to Trial Exhibits on Appeal?

In Texas state practice, admitted trial exhibits are attached to the court reporter's record. Where an exhibit is very valuable (e.g. a bearer bond) or dangerous (a firearm) or very bulky (an image as large as a billboard), trial judges will often grant motions for images of exhibits to be substituted for the exhibits themselves.
At the court reporter's request, the trial court clerk must give all original exhibits to the reporter for use in preparing the reporter’s record. Unless ordered to include original exhibits in the reporter’s record, the court reporter must return the original exhibits to the clerk after copying them for inclusion in the reporter’s record. If someone other than the trial court clerk possesses an original exhibit, either the trial court or the appellate court may order that person to deliver the exhibit to the trial court clerk.
 If the trial court determines that original exhibits should be inspected by the appellate court or sent to that court in lieu of copies, the trial court must make an order for the safekeeping, transportation, and return of those exhibits. The order must list the exhibits and briefly describe them. To the extent practicable, all the exhibits must be arranged in their listed order and bound firmly together before being sent to the appellate clerk. On any party's motion or its own initiative, the appellate court may direct the trial court clerk to send it any original exhibit.

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