Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case in favor of one side or the other.
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The documentary or oral statements and the material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law.
Duhaime Legal Dictionary
Proof of fact(s) presented at a trial.
Neatly divided into the most prevalent, direct evidence, and the slightly more difficult, circumstantial evidence.
A judge, at the commencement of a trial, is like an empty scale - the scales of justice! She knows nothing at that point so the scale is perfectly balanced.
It is up to the two opposing sides to teeter the scale one way or another with evidence so that at the end of the hearing, she can determine what the truth likely is and can render judgment on a preponderance of what she's heard or seen: the evidence.
In law, any of the material items or assertions of fact that may be submitted to a competent tribunal as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter of fact under investigation before it.
To the end that court decisions are to be based on truth founded on evidence, a primary duty of courts is to conduct proper proceedings so as to hear and consider evidence. The so-called law of evidence is made up largely of procedural regulations concerning the proof and presentation of facts, whether involving the testimony of witnesses, the presentation of documents or physical objects, or the assertion of a foreign law. The many rules of evidence that have evolved under different legal systems have, in the main, been founded on experience and shaped by varying legal requirements of what constitutes admissible and sufficient proof.
Although evidence, in this sense, has both legal and technical characteristics, judicial evidence has always been a human rather than a technical problem. During different periods and at different cultural stages, problems concerning evidence have been resolved by widely different methods. Since the means of acquiring evidence are clearly variable and delimited, they can result only in a degree of probability and not in an absolute truth in the philosophical sense. In common-law countries, civil cases require only preponderant probability and criminal cases, probability beyond reasonable doubt. In civil-law countries so much probability is required that reasonable doubts are excluded.
Something that furnishes or tends to furnish proof.
Something (as testimony, writings, or objects) presented at a judicial or administrative proceeding for the purpose of establishing the truth or falsity of an alleged matter of fact.
Every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial). It also includes so-called "circumstantial evidence" which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances which logically lead to a conclusion of fact. Comments and arguments by the attorneys, statements by the judge and answers to questions which the judge has ruled objectionable are not evidence. Charts, maps and models which are used to demonstrate or explain matters are not evidence themselves, but testimony based upon such items and marks on such material may be evidence. Evidence must survive objections of opposing attorneys that it is irrelevant, immaterial or violates rules against "hearsay" (statements by a party not in court), and/or other technicalities.
Lect Law Library
In law, various things presented in court for the purpose of proving or disproving a question under inquiry. Includes testimony, documents, photographs, maps and video tapes.
Trial evidence consists of:
1. The sworn testimony of witnesses, on both direct and cross-examination, regardless of who called the witness; 2. The exhibits which have been received into evidence; and Any facts to which all the lawyers have agreed or stipulated.
Arguments and statements by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. What they say in their opening statements, closing arguments, and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence; Questions and objections by lawyers are not evidence. Attorneys have a duty to their clients to object when they believe a question is improper under the rules of evidence; Testimony that has been excluded or stricken, or that the jurors have been instructed to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered.
The means by which an alleged matter of fact is established or disproved.
The Free (Legal) Dictionary
Any matter of fact that a party to a lawsuit offers to prove or disprove an issue in the case. A system of rules and standards that is used to determine which facts may be admitted, and to what extent a judge or jury may consider those facts, as proof of a particular issue in a lawsuit.
Until 1975, the law of evidence was largely a creature of the Common Law: Evidence rules in most jurisdictions were established by cases rather than by organized, official codifications. Legal scholars long pushed for legislation to provide uniformity and predictability to the evidentiary issues that arise during litigation. Following a lengthy campaign begun by the American Law Institute, which drafted its Model rules of evidence in 1942, and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Rules, which drafted the Uniform Rules of Evidence in 1953, Congress in 1975 adopted the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Federal Rules of Evidence are the official rules in federal court proceedings. Most states now also have codified rules of evidence based on these federal rules. Both state and federal rules of evidence serve as a guide for judges and attorneys so that they can determine whether to admit evidence—that is, whether to allow evidence to be observed by the judge or jury making factual conclusions in a trial.
Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either a) presumed to be true, or b) were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth. Evidence is the currency by which one fulfills the burden of proof.
Many issues surround evidence, making it the subject of much discussion and disagreement. In addition to its subtlety, evidence plays an important role in many academic disciplines, including science and law, adding to the discourse surrounding it.
An important distinction in the field of evidence is that between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence, or evidence that suggests truth as opposed to evidence that directly proves truth. Many have seen this line to be less-than-clear and significant arguments have arisen over the difference.