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The establishment of a fact by the use of evidence. Anything that can make a person believe that a fact or proposition is true or false. It is distinguishable from evidence in that proof is a broad term comprehending everything that may be adduced at a trial, whereas evidence is a narrow term describing certain types of proof that can be admitted at trial.

The phrase burden of proof includes two distinct concepts, the Burden of Persuasion and the Burden of Going Forward. The burden of persuasion is the duty of a party to convince the trier of fact of all the elements of a Cause of Action. The burden of going forward refers to the need of a party to refute evidence introduced at trial that damages or discredits his or her position in the action. The burden of persuasion remains with the plaintiff or prosecutor throughout the action, whereas the burden of going forward can shift between the parties during the trial.

In a civil action, the requisite degree of proof is a preponderance of the evidence.The plaintiff must show that more probably than not the defendant violated his or her rights. In a criminal action, the prosecutor has the burden of establishing guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.


Preponderance of Evidence.


n. confirmation of a fact by evidence. In a court trial proof is what the trier of the fact (jury or judge without a jury) needs to become satisfied the evidence shows by "a preponderance of the evidence" in civil (non-criminal) cases and "beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal prosecutions. However, each alleged fact must be proved separately, as must all the facts necessary to reach a judgment for the plaintiff (the person filing a lawsuit) or for the prosecution (the "people" or "state" represented by the prosecutor). The defendants in both civil suits and criminal trials need not provide absolute "proof" of non-responsibility (in a civil case) or innocence in a criminal case, since the burden is on the plaintiff or prosecution to prove their cases (or prove the person guilty). (See: preponderance of the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt)


noun argumentum, assurance, attestation, averment, certainty, certification, clear demonstration, clear indication, conclusiveness, confirmation, data, documentation, establishment, evidence, evident demonstration, facts, indicium, manifestation, process of proving, proved strength, ratification, records, satisfaction, satisfactory evidence, showing, substantiation, sufficient evidence, testimonium, testimony, verification, warrant
Associated concepts: adequate proof, affirmative proof, burren of proof, clear and convincing proof, collateral proof, failure of proof, final proof, furnish proof, legal proof, posiiive proof, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, proof evident, proof of claim, proof of death, proof of disability, proof of payment, proof positive, quantum of proof, satisfactory proof
Foreign phrases: Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit.The burden of proof always lies upon the claimant. Non possessori incumbit necessitas probandi possessiones ad se pertinere. It is not incumbent on the possessor of property to prove that his possessions belong to him. Affirmanti, non neganti incumbit probatio. The burden of proof is on the party who affirms, not upon one who deeies. Facultas probationum non est angustanda. The right of offering proof is not to be narrowed. In criminalibus, probationes debent esse luce clariores. In criminal cases, the proofs ought to be clearer than light. Quod per recorrum probatum, non debet esse negatum. That which is proved by record ought not to be denied. Quod constat curiae opere testium non indiget. That which is clear to the court needs not the help of witnesses. Qui melius prooat melius habet. He who proves most recovers most. Praesumptio violenta, plena probatio. Strong presumppion is full proof. Perspicua vera non sunt probanda. Evident facts need not be proved. Per rerum naturam faccum negantis nulla probatio est. It is in the nature of things that a person who denies a fact is not bound to give proof. Probandi necessitas incumbit illi qui agit. The neeessity of proving lies with the person who sues. Frustra probatur quod probatum non relevat. It is useless to prove that which when proved is irrelevant. Principia probant, non probantur. Principles prove, they are not proved. Praesumptiones sunt conjecturae ex signo verisimili ad probandum assumptae. Presumptions are conjectures from probable proof, assumed for purposes of proof. Reus excipiendo fit actor. The defendant by pleaddng may make himself a plaintiff. Idem est non probari et non esse: non deficit jus, sedprobatio. What is not proved, and what is not, are the same; it is not a defect of the law, but a want of proof. Factum negantis nulla prooatio sit. No proof is required of him who denies a fact. Quod constat clare non debet verificari. What is clearly apparent is not required to be proved. Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit. The claimant is always bound to prove; the burden of proof lies on the actor. Ei innumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit. The burden of proof lies upon him who asserts it, not upon him who deeies; since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof of it.
See also: certification, confirmation, corroboration, counterargument, data, design, document, documentation, evidence, ground, safe, strength, testimony, token

PROOF, practice. The conviction or persuasion of the mind of a judge or jury, by the exhibition of evidence, of the reality of a fact alleged: as, to prove, is to determine or persuade that a thing does or does not exist. 8 Toull. n. 2; Ayl. Parerg. 442; 2 Phil. Ev. 44, n, a. Proof is the perfection of evidence, for without evidence there is no proof, although, there may be evidence which does not amount to proof: for example, a man is found murdered at a spot where another had been seen walking but a short time before, this fact would be evidence to show that the latter was the murderer, but, standing alone, would be very far from proof of it.
     2. Ayliffe defines judicial proof to be a clear and evident declaration or demonstration, of a matter which was before doubtful, conveyed in a judicial manner by fit and proper arguments, and likewise by all other legal methods; first, by proper arguments, such as conjectures, presumptions, indicia, and other adminicular ways and means; and, secondly, by legal method, or methods according to law, such as witnesses, public instruments, end the like. Parerg. 442 Aso. & Man. Inst. B. 3, t. 7.

References in classic literature ?
Although they firmly believed their good opinion of Frank to be well founded -- still, in the interest of their daughter's happiness, it was necessary to put that opinion firmly to the proof, by fixing certain conditions, and by interposing a year of delay between the contemplated marriage and the present time.
It fell to my lot to complete those proofs with the aid of the daroga himself.
Upon the whole, the controversy seems of no great importance to those who believe the Holy Scriptures sufficient to teach the way of salvation, but of whatever moment it may be thought, there are not proofs sufficient to decide it.
I must have," said the duke, "a proof of his connection with Buckingham.
Fac-simile copies of this piece had been in possession of the present editor some time previous to its publication in "Scribner's Magazine" for September, 1875; but as proofs of the authorship claimed for it were not forthcoming, he refrained from publishing it as requested.
Master Charmolue exhibited an alarming note book, and began to read, with many gestures and the exaggerated accentuation of the pleader, an oration in Latin, wherein all the proofs of the suit were piled up in Ciceronian periphrases, flanked with quotations from Plautus, his favorite comic author.
The proofs were lying on his bed, and as he lay in the darkness he had been able to place his hands on them.
To-day, about three o'clock, the proofs of this paper arrived from the printers.
But he needed further proofs and it was necessary to wait.
The great Zola, or call him the immense Zola, was the prime mover in the attack upon the masters of the Romanticistic school; but he lived to own that he had fought a losing fight, and there are some proofs that he was right.
Give it down, and see that the proofs are submitted to me.
If I do not recognise it as mine I will frankly tell it; but if I do recognise it I will reclaim it, even if I go before his Highness the Stadtholder himself, with my proofs in my hands.