Appellate courts give trial judges a good deal of leeway in their evidentiary rulings. It is often said that parties are entitled to fair trials, not perfect ones. 8. Making an offer of proof is sometimes time-consuming and disruptive of the flow of the trial. Why can’t any necessary information be provided on appeal rather than at the time of the trial?
Trial judges should be given every opportunity to correct possible error before an appeal is taken. When the parties argue all objections fully, and when they make a record of the substance of any evidence the court excluded, the trial court will have an opportunity to rethink its decision and correct possible error. Ultimately, this might save resources by avoiding the necessity for an appeal. 9. What will usually happen if the aggrieved party does not make its appellate record?
Usually the appellate court will decline to review the alleged error. The lawyer might have committed malpractice. 10. When will an appellate court review an alleged error even though the appellant failed to “make the record” at trial?