Evidence: An Overview

Rules of evidence are, as the name indicates, the rules by which a court determines what evidence is admissible at trial. In the U.S., federal courts follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, while state courts generally follow their own rules. See, for example California's evidence rules, Indiana's evidence rules, or Washington's evidence rules. State rules of evidence are generally imposed by the state legislature upon the state courts.

In establishing what evidence is admissible, many rules of evidence concentrate first on the relevancy of the offered evidence. See, for example Article IV of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Rules of evidence also allocate among the parties the burden of producing evidence and the burden of persuading the court. See, for example Article III of the Federal Rules of Evidence or Division 5 of the California Evidence Code.

The Federal Rules of Evidence also address the admissibility of hearsay, oral testimony, and Article V of the Federal Rules of Evidence and Division Eight of the California Evidence Code.

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Category: Courts and Procedure