Difference Between Quasi-Admission and a Judicial Admission
The Texas Supreme Court has explained the difference between a quasi-admission and a judicial admission:
A party's testimonial declarations which are contrary to his position are quasi-admissions.
They are merely some evidence, and they are not conclusive upon the admitter.
The weight to be given such admissions is decided by the trier of fact.
These are to be distinguished from the true judicial admission which is a formal waiver of proof usually found in pleadings or the stipulations of the parties.
A judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it, and it relieves the opposing party's burden of proving the admitted fact...Mendoza v. Fidelity and Guaranty Ins. Underwriters, Inc., 606 S.W.2d 692, 694 (Tex. 1980).
However, a quasi-admission will be treated as a judicial admission if the following five elements are satisfied:
(1) That the declaration relied upon was made during the course of a judicial proceeding.
(2) That the statement is contrary to an essential fact embraced in the theory of recovery or defense asserted by the person giving the testimony.
(3) That the statement is deliberate, clear, and unequivocal. the hypothesis of mere mistake or slip of the tongue must be eliminated.
(4) That the giving of conclusive effect to the declaration will be consistent with the public policy upon which the rule is based.
(5) That the statement is not also destructive of the opposing party's theory of recovery. See id.
In Mendoza, the Supreme Court went on to elaborate more extensively about the requirement that the statement be deliberate, clear and unequivocal in order to be a true judicial admission. Id. at 695.
Mendoza, in making a worker's compensation claim, stated he had been totally disabled as of a certain date. Id. at 693. He was awarded compensation. Id.
Mendoza later filed an application to modify his prior award because of a subsequent change in his condition; however, the Industrial Accident Board refused his request. Id.
Mendoza filed suit, and the jury found in Mendoza's favor. Id.
The court of civil appeals reversed and rendered a take nothing judgment, holding that Mendoza's testimony in the initial proceeding that he was totally unable to work was a judicial admission and therefore there could not have been any further change in his capacity to work.
The Supreme Court found that Mendoza's testimony was merely his opinion, and was therefore not so clear and unequivocal as to qualify as a judicial admission. Id. at 695.
The Court explained that whether a person's physical condition is such that he is totally incapacitated is a fact question, which calls for an expression of an opinion. Id.
Although an expert medical opinion would suffice, a lay opinion, which is based on observation of physical facts, would not. Id.
The Court reversed, finding that Mendoza's testimony did not exclude the possibility that his opinion was mistaken and was therefore not so clear and unequivocal as to amount to a judicial admission. Id.