Matter of Fact


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Matter of Fact

That which is to be determined by the senses or by the testimony of witnesses who describe what they have perceived through the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing.

Trials are highly complex forums for the consideration of fact, opinion, and law. Each area is distinct in its type and in who has responsibility for evaluating it. Courts use the term matter of fact to distinguish a particular kind of information. A fact is a thing done—an actual occurrence or event—and it is presented during a trial in the form of testimony and evidence. The rules of evidence generally allow witnesses to testify as to what they personally know about the facts in dispute, but do not allow witnesses to testify as to their opinions (i.e., thoughts, beliefs, or inferences) in regard to those facts. An exception is made for expert witnesses, whose technical or scientific specialty is considered sufficient to allow them to state their opinion on relevant and material matters.

Facts are often difficult to ascertain because the record is unclear or because competing interpretations of the facts are presented. questions of fact are for the jury, which must weigh their validity in reaching a verdict. The jury's role is kept distinct from that of the court, which has the authority to rule on all matters of law.

Cross-references

Matter of Law.

See: certification, fait accompli, prosaic, unpretentious

MATTER OF FACT, pleading. Matter which goes in denial of a declaration, and Dot in avoidance of it. Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. G 3; Hob. 127.

References in classic literature ?
As a matter of fact, my notion of heading out west on the chance of sight- ing a problematical steamer could not bear calm examination.
Chief Inspector Heat waited with the appearance of turning over in his mind all he had just said, but, as a matter of fact, considering the advisability of saying something more.
As a matter of fact, it was done by means of a magnet.
As a matter of fact, however, what he complained of most was his spiritual condition--that indescribable forsakenness--to which he gives such heartrending expression in "Zarathustra".
The idea of revelation in the sense that something becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy, which profoundly convulses and upsets one--describes simply the matter of fact.
He thinks it is only my over-scrupulous nature that makes me fear I am having more than my due; and that, as a matter of fact, I don't have half as much as I ought.
If another boat overtakes him and passes him it does not annoy him; as a matter of fact, they all do overtake him and pass him - all those that are going his way.
As a matter of fact, the mob was playing in exceedingly foul fashion.
As a matter of fact, old Prince P-- had just died, and his heirs had dismissed my father from his post; whereupon, since he had a little money privately invested in St.
As a matter of fact, she had seen Caswall that morning when she visited Castra Regis, and they had had a long talk together, during which the possibility of their union had been discussed.
As a matter of fact it was about the only kind of logic that could be brought to bear upon my problem.
As a matter of fact, he got downright down-home country when he joined Garth Brooks in Central Park two weeks ago.