Conclusion of fact (also referred to as finding of fact) refers to decisions made by the trier of fact on questions of fact in a case. Questions of fact arise when parties disagree on facts, and after presenting evidence, the trier of fact must decide what the facts actually are. Conclusions of fact may be made by a jury or judges depending on agreement by the parties. These conclusions often dictate the outcome of a trial. Because questions of fact must be analyzed and decided, if there is a question of fact, a judge cannot enter a summary judgement until the factual dispute is resolved.
Conclusions of fact receive deferential treatment on appeal, and an appellate court will only overturn a conclusion of fact if the trier of fact obviously made an error. This is to be contrasted with a conclusion of law which will receive higher scrutiny.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]