Evidence Essentials | Cochrane Training
In cases that involve a breach of contract, the contract itself would be considered direct evidence as it can directly prove or disprove that there was breach of contract. Circumstantial evidence , however, is evidence that does not point directly to a fact and requires an inference in order to prove that fact.
A common example of the distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence involves a person who comes into a building, when it may be raining. If the person declares, "It's raining outside," that statement is direct evidence that it is raining. If the person is carrying a wet umbrella, and he's wearing a wet rain coat, those observations are circumstantial evidence that it is raining outside. Different types of proceedings require parties to meet different burdens of proof , the typical examples being beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, and preponderance of the evidence.
Many jurisdictions have burden-shifting provisions, which require that if one party produces evidence tending to prove a certain point, the burden shifts to the other party to produce superior evidence tending to disprove it. One special category of information in this area includes things of which the court may take judicial notice. This category covers matters that are so well known that the court may deem them proved without the introduction of any evidence. For example, if a defendant is alleged to have illegally transported goods across a state line by driving them from Boston to Los Angeles , the court may take judicial notice of the fact that it is impossible to drive from Boston to Los Angeles without crossing a number of state lines.
In a civil case, where the court takes judicial notice of the fact, that fact is deemed conclusively proved. In a criminal case, however, the defense may always submit evidence to rebut a point for which judicial notice has been taken. Some rules that affect the admissibility of evidence are nonetheless considered to belong to other areas of law. These include the exclusionary rule of criminal procedure , which prohibits the admission in a criminal trial of evidence gained by unconstitutional means, and the parol evidence rule of contract law , which prohibits the admission of extrinsic evidence of the contents of a written contract.
This practice is very common in today's complicated world.
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In countries that follow the civil law system , evidence is normally studied as a branch of procedural law. All American law schools offer a course in evidence, and most require the subject either as a first year class, or as an upper-level class, or as a prerequisite to later courses.
Furthermore, evidence is heavily tested on the Multistate Bar Examination MBE - approximately one-sixth of the questions asked in that test will be in the area of evidence. The MBE predominantly tests evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence , giving little attention to matters on which the law of different states is likely to be inconsistent. Tampering is usually the criminal law variant in which a person alters, conceals, falsifies, or destroys evidence to interfere with a law-enforcement, governmental, or regulatory investigation, and is usually defined as a crime.
Parallel construction is the creation of an untruthful, but plausible, explanation for how the evidence came to be held, which hides its true origins, either to protect sources and methods used, or to avoid the evidence being excluded as unlawfully obtained. Depending on the circumstances, acts to conceal or destroy evidence or misrepresent its true origins might be considered both tampering and spoliation.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Evidence disambiguation. For the Stone Sour song, see Stone Sour album. The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the English-speaking world and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section needs additional citations for verification. Main article: Relevance law. See also: Public policy doctrines for the exclusion of relevant evidence and Exclusionary rule. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. August Learn how and when to remove this template message.
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Main article: Hearsay. Main article: Legal burden of proof. Main articles: spoliation of evidence , tampering with evidence , and falsification of evidence. Merriam Webster Legal Dictionary. Retrieved 15 September Retrieved Michelin North America, Inc. Friedman, A History of American Law , 3rd ed.
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