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 classic literature ?
But the best evidence about Farebrother is to see him and hear him.
But the best evidence is afforded by parts or organs of an important and uniform nature occasionally varying so as to acquire, in some degree, the character of the same part or organ in an allied species.
The ballots are the best evidence and we should just proceed with the recount.
The currently available research positively highlights the role and importance of Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME).
EBP is a problem-solving approach to the delivery of health care that integrates the best evidence from well-designed studies and patient care data, and combines it with patient preferences and values and nurse expertise (Sackett et al 2000, as cited in Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt 2015).
The topics include relevance: general principles and special applications, hearsay exemptions, hearsay and the confrontation clause, expert testimony and scientific evidence, and the best evidence rule.
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.
Michael Ancheta, the lawyer of Cambe, also said before the court that offering the hard drive is in "violation of the best evidence rule.
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.