testify

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Testify

To provide evidence as a witness, subject to an oath or affirmation, in order to establish a particular fact or set of facts.

Court rules require witnesses to testify about the facts they know that are relevant to the determination of the outcome of the case. Under the law a person may not testify until he is sworn in. This requirement is usually met by a witness swearing to speak the truth. A person who does not believe in appealing to God may affirm to the court that the testimony about to be given is the truth.

A witness may testify as to facts directly observed, which is called direct evidence; facts learned indirectly, which is called Circumstantial Evidence; or, in the case of an expert, an opinion the expert has formed based on facts embodied in a hypothetical question. The parties to the court proceeding are free to question a witness as to the truthfulness of the testimony or the competence of the witness.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the defendant in a criminal trial the right not to testify, so as to avoid Self-Incrimination. In addition, the rule that a person must testify when called as a witness has several exceptions based on the existence of a special relationship between the defendant and the potential witness. Among the most important of these exceptions are confidential communications between a husband and a wife, an attorney and a client, a doctor and a patient, and a priest and penitent.

The rules of evidence govern what a person may testify about at a court proceeding. Though there are numerous exceptions, generally a witness may not testify about what she heard another say if that testimony is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Such testimony is known as Hearsay. For example, if the witness testifies that he heard that john doe was married and this statement is offered to prove that John Doe was married, it is hearsay and the court will strike the testimony from the record.

Cross-references

Attorney-Client Privilege; Marital Communications Privilege; Physician-Patient Privilege; Privileged Communication.

testify

v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to questions posed by attorneys either at trial or at a deposition (testimony under oath outside of court), with the opportunity for opposing attorneys to cross-examine the witness in regard to answers given. (See: testimony, trial, deposition, evidence)

testify

verb acknowledge openly, affirm, affirm under oath, allege, assert, asseverate, attest, aver, avow, be sworn, bear witness, declare, depone, depose, establish, express, give evidence, give one's word, indicate, make solemn declaration, profess, prove, show, state, state a fact, state a truth, swear, take one's oath, take the stand, testari, testificari, verify
Associated concepts: compulsion to testify, privilege against self-incrimination, testify in one's own defense, testify under oath
See also: acknowledge, adduce, attest, avouch, avow, bear, bespeak, certify, inform, manifest, notify, posit, promise, swear, verify, vouch, vow

testify

to give TESTIMONY.

TO TESTIFY. To give evidence according to law; the examination of a witness who declares his knowledge of facts.

References in classic literature ?
Many men were moved, and many women's com- passion testified itself in tears.
The twins testified their joy by several inconvenient but innocent demonstrations.
The Rabbi listened with interest, and testified his sympathy after the fashion of his people, rending his clothes, and saying, ``Ah, my daughter
This friend of mine, then, was one of these renegades that I have described; he had certificates from all our comrades, in which we testified in his favour as strongly as we could; and if the Moors had found the papers they would have burned him alive.
But as it was, the thing that struck me with keenest force was the enormous waste of labour to which this sombre wilderness of rotting paper testified.
Miss Bingley offered her the carriage, and she only wanted a little pressing to accept it, when Jane testified such concern in parting with her, that Miss Bingley was obliged to convert the offer of the chaise to an invitation to remain at Netherfield for the present.
Higginbotham was a trader; and a former clerk of his, to whom Dominicus related the facts, testified that the old gentleman was accustomed to return home through the orchard about nightfall, with the money and valuable papers of the store in his pocket.
A loud purr, like the singing of a tea-kettle or the hum of a spinning-wheel, testified that she was as comfortable and happy as a cat could be.
Irwine's sisters, as any person of family within ten miles of Broxton could have testified, were such stupid, uninteresting women
Several witnesses, recalled, here testified that the chimneys of all the rooms on the fourth story were too narrow to admit the passage of a human being.
The Indians stood round gazing in silence and mute awe, but made no attempt to oppose the execution, nor testified any emotion when it was over.
He took it in, so much there was of it; and indeed his not otherwise meeting it testified to that.