preponderance of the evidence


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to preponderance of the evidence: Clear and convincing evidence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt

preponderance of the evidence

n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective. (See: evidence)

References in periodicals archive ?
Parties seeking bridge-the-gap or durational alimony could have overcome that presumption by demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that such an award was appropriate.
evidence (highest burden) and preponderance of the evidence (lowest
The "legal certainty" standard is significantly higher than the preponderance of the evidence standard.
Even if the presumption of patent validity merits using a higher evidentiary standard than a preponderance of the evidence, the clear and convincing standard should not apply to patents where the prior art was not before the PTO.
Although an appellate court in New Jersey required the prosecution to prove a negative: that the individual was not mentally retarded beyond a reasonable doubt, the New Jersey Supreme Court put the burden on the defense to prove mental retardation by a preponderance of the evidence.
The court held, inter alia, that the court was required to review the record de nova and presume that the findings of fact by the trial judge were correct "unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise.
Once these two affirmative defenses are established by a preponderance of the evidence, the Government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim did not consent, and/or that the accused was not reasonably mistaken as to consent.
The individual can rebut this residency presumption by a preponderance of the evidence.
California's requirement that a defendant prove his prima facie case by a preponderance of the evidence did not exceed the limits of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The preponderance of the evidence establishes that A did not have effective power to pay M's withholding taxes.
Significantly lower than either the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt or of the preponderance of the evidence, this standard can be achieved by nothing more than conducting a good faith investigation and drawing some reasonable conclusion from it.
The preponderance of the evidence is he was there when the building blew up,'' said one senior U.