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.

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 ?
With the editors' misrepresentation of the historical fact described in my letter and their dismissal of (l)-(5) as "not strictly matters of fact," they effectively relegate themselves to the rabbit hole of Alternative Facts, where false statements are true because they say so and inconvenient true statements are a matter of subjective interpretation.
These examples from Matters of Fact in Jane Austen demonstrate the density of research and detail that Barchas weaves throughout all of her chapters.
She is certainly right that more work is left to be done, but when finishing Matters of Fact, it's hard not to wish that Barchas would be the scholar to plumb the Austen novels not addressed in this study.