Clear and Convincing Proof

Clear and Convincing Proof

A standard applied by a jury or by a judge in a nonjury trial to measure the probability of the truthfulness of particular facts alleged during a civil lawsuit.

Clear and convincing proof means that the evidence presented by a party during the trial is more highly probable to be true than not and the jury or judge has a firm belief or conviction in it. A greater degree of believability must be met than the common standard of proof in civil actions, preponderance of the evidence, which requires that the facts more likely than not prove the issue for which they are asserted.

The standard of clear and convincing proof—also known as "clear and convincing evidence"; "clear, convincing, and satisfactory"; "clear, cognizant, and convincing"; and "clear, unequivocal, satisfactory, and convincing"—is applied only in particular cases, primarily those involving an equitable remedy, such as reformation of a deed or contract for mistake.

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And, as the court itself said, "allegations made and clear and convincing proof are two very different things.