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.

See: certification, fait accompli, prosaic, unpretentious

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 ?
Liberal Jews and Christians may read the story of Elijah's flight to heaven in a chariot of fire as gorgeous myth, but Nasr mentions the Prophet's Nocturnal Journey as matter-of-factly as if it were a non-scheduled redeye.
That means Daschle's running for President" Baker said matter-of-factly.
Pomerantz writes very matter-of-factly about the event, its causes and its repercussions, but he also shows great compassion for all the people involved.
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There is no overdevelopment in Chelsea," she said, matter-of-factly.
Usner concludes with a beautiful chapter illustrating that master painters such as Karl Bodmer matter-of-factly documented what they saw--Indians in camp and market, distinctively costumed, solemn but hardly degenerate.
She looked up and very matter-of-factly replied, "I am an artist.
The factory was involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons," explained the president matter-of-factly after the bombing, which injured at least 10 people.
Rader, the EDF scientist, speaks quickly, matter-of-factly, like a guy who has much to say and little time to say it.
Simultaneously, however, it endeavours to be reserved: it matter-of-factly peels back its wooden skin to let one slide inside; it has few openings, and its narrow wooden slats reduce its perceived mass.
magic realism Latin-American literary phenomenon characterized by the incorporation of fantastic or mythical elements matter-of-factly into otherwise realistic fiction.