testify

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Testify

To provide evidence as a witness, subject to an oath or affirmation, in order to establish a particular fact or set of facts.

Court rules require witnesses to testify about the facts they know that are relevant to the determination of the outcome of the case. Under the law a person may not testify until he is sworn in. This requirement is usually met by a witness swearing to speak the truth. A person who does not believe in appealing to God may affirm to the court that the testimony about to be given is the truth.

A witness may testify as to facts directly observed, which is called direct evidence; facts learned indirectly, which is called Circumstantial Evidence; or, in the case of an expert, an opinion the expert has formed based on facts embodied in a hypothetical question. The parties to the court proceeding are free to question a witness as to the truthfulness of the testimony or the competence of the witness.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the defendant in a criminal trial the right not to testify, so as to avoid Self-Incrimination. In addition, the rule that a person must testify when called as a witness has several exceptions based on the existence of a special relationship between the defendant and the potential witness. Among the most important of these exceptions are confidential communications between a husband and a wife, an attorney and a client, a doctor and a patient, and a priest and penitent.

The rules of evidence govern what a person may testify about at a court proceeding. Though there are numerous exceptions, generally a witness may not testify about what she heard another say if that testimony is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Such testimony is known as Hearsay. For example, if the witness testifies that he heard that john doe was married and this statement is offered to prove that John Doe was married, it is hearsay and the court will strike the testimony from the record.

Cross-references

Attorney-Client Privilege; Marital Communications Privilege; Physician-Patient Privilege; Privileged Communication.

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

testify

v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to questions posed by attorneys either at trial or at a deposition (testimony under oath outside of court), with the opportunity for opposing attorneys to cross-examine the witness in regard to answers given. (See: testimony, trial, deposition, evidence)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

testify

to give TESTIMONY.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO TESTIFY. To give evidence according to law; the examination of a witness who declares his knowledge of facts.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Circumstantial epistemic bad luck with respect to testimonial injustice is presented according to what Ishani Maitra, in her essay "The Nature of Epistemic Injustice," calls a "continuity argument." (59) Fricker offers the examples of (1) an extremely shy testifier whose failure to meet the eyes of his interlocutor and self-conscious pauses are taken to indicate a general insincerity; (2) an "honest second-hand car salesman" who is taken for being dishonest by virtue of his profession; and 3) a habitual liar who is disbelieved when she is telling the truth due to being a confirmed liar.
If we wish to participate fully in the meaning-generating process, we need to respect and take account of the disconnection itself, as well as its abstract origins, a process that allows us to perceive the past events--receive them, in fact--on behalf of the testifier. The shared nature of this enterprise is what Dori Laub identifies when he states that, "It is the encounter and the coming together between the survivor and the listener, which makes possible something like a repossession of the act of witnessing.
The testifier is surprised by its sudden visitation, and resists in vain its shaking impact.
Using this data, the testifier concluded that there is "ample room
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings (which began in April 1996 and ended in March 1998), conducted around the country and reported extensively in all eleven official languages across a range of media, provided just such a memory prompt for individuals (those who actively participated in the process as testifiers and second-person witnesses to that testimony, as well as those who merely heard about the process) and also for institutions like big business, the judiciary, the health sector, the media and political parties.
These roles include: Standards Developer, Reviewer, Testifier, Educator, and Constant Student.
not simply a factual given that is reproduced and replicated by the testifier, but a genuine advent, an event in its own right" (Felman and Laub 62).
Both these uses of the early jury as testifier of fact made some sense.
(161) Although the Yates defense brought forth evidence of Dietz's brochure distribution during cross-examination in an effort to portray Dietz as a "professional testifier," (162) Dietz did not seem apologetic.
The relational nature of morality found in the personal testimony of pro-choice films is distinct from the rule-based standards typically found both in public policy debate and in pro-life rhetoric; and 3) Personal testimony in pro-choice films illustrates a feminist epistemology which relies on women's positions as testifier and/or witness.
Knowledge in the testimony is, in other words, not simply a factual given that is reproduced and replicated by the testifier, but a genuine advent, an event in its own right" (Felman and Laub 62).