Best Evidence

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Best Evidence

An original document or object offered as proof of a fact in a lawsuit as opposed to a photocopy of, or other substitute for, the item or the testimony of a witness describing it.

Best evidence, also known as primary evidence, usually denotes an original writing, which is considered the most reliable proof of its existence and its contents. If it is available to, and obtainable by, a party, it must be offered into evidence at a trial. Best evidence is distinguishable from secondary evidence, a reproduction of an original or testimony establishing its existence, which will be admissible as proof only if the best evidence cannot be obtained, and ensuring no fault of the party seeking to present it.

The principle that the best available evidence must be presented as proof in a lawsuit is embodied in the best-evidence rule.

BEST EVIDENCE. Means the best evidence of which the nature of the case admits, not the highest or strongest evidence which the nature of the thing to be proved admits of: e. g. a copy of a deed is not the best evidence; the deed itself is better. Gilb. Ev. 15; 3 Campb.. 236; 2 Starkey, 473 2 Campb. 605; 1 Esp. 127.
     2. The rule requiring the best evidence to be produced, is to be understood of the best legal evidence. 2 Serg. & R. 34; 3 Bl. Com. 368, note 10, by Christian. It is relaxed in some cases, as, e. g. where the words or the act of the opposite party avow the fact to be proved. A tavern keeper's sign avows his occupation; taking of tithes avows the clerical character; so, addressing one as The Reverend T. S." 2 Serg. & R. 440 1 Saund. on Plead. & Evid. 49.

References in periodicals archive ?
Footage of a man with a yellow shirt leaving a backpack at the Erawan shrine is still the best evidence over the August 17 blast, which killed 20 people.
This is the best evidence to date that a high-fibre diet can protect against the development of asthma," said lead author Dr Alison Thorburn, an immunologist and microbiologist from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom's existence".
The Crown Prosecution Service proposals, which will provide clear guidance and take account of witness needs, providing measures which will assist them to give the best evidence, are now open to eight weeks of public consultation.
Chandra has captured galaxy clusters - the largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe - in the process of forming, and provided the best evidence yet that the cosmos is dominated by a mysterious substance called dark matter.
SIR - It is alarming that the best evidence of a formal agreement for the electrification of the valleys rail network seem to be two matey emails.
After an introduction to best evidence medicine, each chapter presents background and the relevant literature, as well as a summary of the author's recommendations and the level of supporting evidence.
While the Atlantic humpback dolphin has been recognized as a species, the latest research offers the best evidence yet that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin should be split into three species, including one that is new to science.
And the fact that people with disabilities have got a modern dwelling is the best evidence of its implementation," Mykola Azarov emphasized.
EBM is widely defined as "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients, "where" best evidence" is not defined.
By following the checklist, landlords will be armed with the best evidence possible if they face a dispute over the deposit return.
Basra (NINA) - MP from the State of Law Coalition, Jawad Al Bazun, said "the big budget allocated to the salaries of the Vice-Presidents is the best evidence of the waste of public money.