Declaration Against Interest

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a declaration against interest is defined as a statement made by a declarant who is unavailable that is against the declarant’s pecuniary, proprietary, or penal interest when it was made. A statement against...

Declaration of Mailing

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA legal form stating that a particular document has been mailed to someone involved in a legal action (such as opposing attorneys or the clerk of the court), to prove compliance with court requirements....

Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA signed statement, sworn to be true by the signer, that will make the signer guilty of the crime of perjury if the statement is shown to be materially false -- that is, the lie is relevant and...

Defective Verdict

A verdict flawed to such extent that a judgment cannot be based on it. The verdict may be defective because of procedural irregularities during deliberations, or because of contradictions in its substantive conclusions. As a result, the judge might...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) Done with care, intention, or premeditation.2) Consideration and discussion of facts, laws, and other matters, particularly by members of a jury, a panel of judges, or by any group including a...

Demonstrative Evidence

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryObjects, pictures, models, and other devices used in a trial or hearing to demonstrate or explain facts that the party is trying to prove.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo question a witness or a party to a lawsuit at a deposition (testimony under oath taken outside of the courtroom before trial).

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Direct Evidence

Evidence that directly links a person to a crime, without the need of any inference (for example, they were seen committing the crime). Compare to circumstantial evidence.

Direct Examination

The initial questioning of a witness, by the party that called them to the stand. Generally followed by an opportunity for cross examination.


In the federal courts, disclosure requires parties to automatically share routine evidentiary information that would otherwise be available during discovery. Disclosure comes in three stages. First, at the beginning of the suit, each party must...