Hearsay Rule

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The rule prohibiting hearsay (out of court statements offered as proof of that statement) from being admitted as evidence because of the inability of the other party to cross-examine the maker of the statement.  See:  hearsay

There are a number of exceptions to the hearsay rule (including present-sense impression, excited utterances, declarations of present state of mind, dying  and the business records exceptions), as well as things defined not to be hearsay (admission of a party-opponent, and prior statements of a witness).