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n. evidence which the trial judge finds is useful in helping the trier of fact (a jury if there is a jury, otherwise the judge), and which cannot be objected to on the basis that it is irrelevant, immaterial, or violates the rules against hearsay and other objections. Sometimes the evidence which a ...
admission of evidence
n. a judge's acceptance of evidence in a trial.
n. evidence found by a losing party after a trial has been completed and judgment (or criminal conviction) given, also called newly-discovered evidence. If the evidence absolutely could not have been discovered at the time of trial, it may be considered on a motion for a new trial.
best evidence rule
n. the legal doctrine that an original piece of evidence, particularly a document, is superior to a copy. If the original is available, a copy will not be allowed as evidence in a trial.
n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from an eyewitness or participant and requires some reasoning to prove a fact. There is a public perception that such evidence is weak ("all they have is circumstantial evidence"), but the probable conclusion from the circumstances may be so strong that t...
clear and convincing evidence
n. evidence that proves a matter by the "preponderance of evidence" required in civil cases and beyond the "reasonable doubt" needed to convict in a criminal case.
n. evidence which strengthens, adds to, or confirms already existing evidence.
n. actual objects, pictures, models and other devices which are supposedly intended to clarify the facts for the judge and jury: how an accident occurred, actual damages, medical problems, or methods used in committing an alleged crime. Many of these are not supposed to be actual evidence, but "aids...
n. real, tangible or clear evidence of a fact, happening or thing that requires no thinking or consideration to prove its existence, as compared to circumstantial evidence.
n. any document (paper) which is presented and allowed as evidence in a trial or hearing, as distinguished from oral testimony. However, the opposing attorney may object to its being admitted. In the first place, it must be proved by other evidence from a witness that the paper is genuine (called "l...
n. 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 ...
n. testimony, documents or things which one side attempts to present as evidence during trial, which the court finds (usually after objection by the opposition) are not admissible because they are irrelevant or immaterial to the issues in the lawsuit. Thus, trial lawyers often object with: "incompet...
n. evidence introduced to prove a fact in a trial which is so conclusive, that by no stretch of the imagination can there be any other truth as to that matter. Examples: a fingerprint which shows someone had been present in a room, or a blood test which scientifically proves that a person is not the...
n. a finding (decision) by a trial judge or an appeals court that the prosecution in a criminal case or a plaintiff in a lawsuit has not proved the case because the attorney did not present enough convincing evidence. Insufficient evidence usually results in dismissal of the case after the prosecuti...
parol evidence rule
n. if there is evidence in writing (such as a signed contract) the terms of the contract cannot be altered by evidence of oral (parol) agreements purporting to change, explain or contradict the written document.
preponderance of the evidence
n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of ...
suppression of evidence
n. 1) a judge's determination not to allow evidence to be admitted in a criminal trial because it was illegally obtained or was discovered due to an illegal search. 2) the improper hiding of evidence by a prosecutor who is constitutionally required to reveal to the defense all evidence. Such suppres...
n. in a criminal trial, information which has been obtained by illegal means or has been traced through evidence acquired by illegal search and/or seizure. This evidence is called "fruit of the poisonous tree" and is not admissible in court.
turn states' evidence
v. for a person accused of a crime to decide to give the prosecutor evidence about the crime, including facts about other participants in the crime (or other crimes) in return for lenient treatment, a plea bargain and/or a recommendation of a light sentence.
weight of evidence
n. the strength, value and believability of evidence presented on a factual issue by one side as compared to evidence introduced by the other side.