RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Legal Dictionary


The term “proof” refers to the evidence or documentation that supports a claim or argument. In legal proceedings, proof is often required to establish facts or elements of a case. The type and amount of proof needed can vary depending on the nature of the legal proceedings and the jurisdiction.

There are different types of legal proof, such as testimonial evidence, documentary evidence, physical evidence, expert opinion, circumstantial evidence, and forensic evidence. Testimonial evidence is statements made by witnesses under oath, including testimony from parties involved, expert witnesses, or other individuals with relevant information. Documentary evidence is any physical or electronic documents that can be presented in court to support a claim, such as contracts, emails, letters, photographs, or other written or recorded materials.

Physical evidence is tangible items or objects that are presented in court, including weapons, clothing, or other items relevant to the case. Expert opinion is testimony provided by individuals with specialized knowledge or expertise in a particular field. Their opinions can help the court understand complex issues. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence that implies a fact but does not directly prove it. It can be used to build a case when direct evidence is lacking. Forensic evidence is the scientific analysis of physical evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, or bloodstains, to establish facts relevant to the case.

The burden of proof varies depending on whether it is a civil or criminal case. In a criminal case, the prosecution typically has the burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, the burden is usually on the plaintiff to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, which means it’s more likely than not that their claims are true.

Ultimately, the acceptability of proof depends on the rules of evidence in the relevant jurisdiction and the judgment of the court.

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