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shifting the burden of proof

n. the result of the plaintiff in a lawsuit meeting its burden of proof in the case, in effect placing the burden with the defendant, at which time it presents a defense. There may be shifts of burden of proof on specific factual issues during a trial, which may impact the opposing parties and their need to produce evidence.

See also: burden of proof  prima facie case 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications