Self-serving, in a legal context, refers to a statement or answer to a question that serves no purpose and provides no evidence, but only argues or reinforces the legal position of a particular party in a lawsuit. The courts have consistently held that self-serving statements with no evidentiary value are inadmissible evidence.
Cases such as this one from Missouri, explain that “a ‘self-serving statement’ is a statement made by a party in his own interest at some place and time out of court, and does not include testimony which he gives as a witness at the trial.”
Additionally, this case from New York, explains that “a ‘self-serving statement,’ for purposes of determining whether the statement is admissible in trial, is one that tends to reduce the charges or mitigate the punishment for which the declarant might be liable.”
[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]