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Avowal is a declaration made by an attorney during the trial process. This is an open declaration by an attorney representing a party in a lawsuit, made after the jury has been removed from the courtroom, that requests the admission of particular testimony from a witness that would otherwise be inadmissible because it has been successfully objected to during the trial.

An avowal serves two purposes:

  • It enables an attorney to have the court learn what a witness would have replied to a question had opposing counsel not made an objection to the question sustained by the court. 
  • It provides the interrogator with an opportunity to offer evidence that contradicts the disputed testimony. If, upon appeal, an appellate court decides that a witness should have been allowed to respond to such questions before a jury, an avowal will be a record of the witness's response.

Typically, an avowal can be stated either orally or in writing, however, some courts have a preference for an oral avowal.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]