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 periodicals archive ?
If my writing will grow, will continue, I feel that its growth and continuation must take root in whatever process occurs in these French compositions--their matter-of-factness, their simplicity, their puerility, their honesty.
What makes this novel remarkable is the honesty and matter-of-factness of John's voice.
As his nemesis Iago, it is the matter-of-factness of Michael Gould's performance that makes him so chilling, the intricate plotting spun out of an almost nondescript exterior which might plausibly deflect suspicion.
Beyond their intact matter-of-factness, humor, and inventiveness, they simply redefine the form once again.
played with a philosophical matter-of-factness by Joseph Porter) as he is writing to his pen pal.
At the end of the 19th century, a 50-year-old collier delivered the following lament with the customary matter-of-factness of workers for whom the insupportable, by the standards of today, had become the norm: "Up to the last two years before I failed I had no trouble with my eyes and earned good money.
I'm not back to where I was, but I'm a damned sight better than I was six months ago and I'm grateful for that," he said with the unpretentious matter-of-factness which endears him to millions.
Easily distinguishable, it fitted well into a cultural framework that extended from the morality and meaningfulness of Buckminster Fuller at one corner, the matter-of-factness of 'knock-down' and 'do-it-yourself' at the other, and came from the same world as the bright-eyed kid with a box of 'Meccano' or the determined young man with his legs sticking out of some machine assuring us that it would perform/fly/sing/inflate/take to the road or whatever .
Says Novak with severe matter-of-factness, "I am not a person who is easy for a lot of people to like.
They do what they do with the matter-of-factness of a teacher writing 2+2=4 on a blackboard or a plumber repairing a sink.
This is what I can only describe as mounting matter-of-factness.
I harbored no such professional obligations, however, and remained fascinated by the theater's everyday realities--the costume fittings, understudy rehearsals and union rules that were discussed with delightful matter-of-factness over the dinner table.