Primary Evidence

Primary Evidence

An authentic document or item that is offered as proof in a lawsuit, as contrasted with a copy of, or substitute for, the original.

Primary evidence, more commonly known as best evidence, is the best available substantiation of the existence of an object because it is the actual item. It differs from secondary evidence, which is a copy of, or substitute for, the original. If primary evidence is available to a party, that person must offer it as evidence. When, however, primary evidence is unavailable—for example, through loss or destruction—through no fault of the party, he or she may present a reliable substitute for it, once its unavailability is sufficiently established.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

PRIMARY EVIDENCE. The best evidence of which the case in its nature is susceptible. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3053. Vide Evidence.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
I ask primary evidence that you are a man, and refuse this appeal from the man to his actions.
Primary evidence of effectiveness is based on results from the 21 patients treated with Zolgensma in the ongoing clinical trial.
Trillanes failed to establish the existence of the official copy of the amnesty application form which is the primary evidence required as proof of its filing with the DND Ad Hoc Amnesty Committee,' the order read.
In the first part of Stage 3, enrichment strategies and certain efficacy endpoints, including spleen size reduction and bone marrow complete response with partial hematologic recovery, will be assessed for potential inclusion in the confirmatory cohort, that will aim to provide the primary evidence of efficacy to support potential registration."
2252A, but he retained his right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress the primary evidence against him.
"We have begun investigations though the primary evidence points to suffocation as cause for the diggers's death.
The trial court, however, said Trillanes failed to establish the existence of the official copy of the amnesty application, which is considered the primary evidence to counter the claim of the prosecution.
"The BHA said in its statement that due to its absence it can't use a hair test as primary evidence. The test carried out on Hughie Morrison's behalf wasn't used as primary evidence, it was used and accepted by the disciplinary panel as evidence that shed some light on what might have happened.
He added: "It was her contradictory recall, which was the primary evidence against her.
This approach assumes that each part retains primary evidence from the biblical period to which it relates.
However, the MPs also warn: "Oversight and scrutiny depend on primary evidence: without sight of the actual documents provided to ministers we cannot ourselves be sure - nor offer an assurance to Parliament or the public - that we have indeed been given the full facts surrounding the authorisation process for the lethal strike against Reyaad Khan."