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.

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)

testify

to give TESTIMONY.

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

References in periodicals archive ?
* At the start of a videoconferenced hearing, the committee chair should cover how the hearing will be conducted, including the amount of time each site will be allowed to present testimony; the process for signing the testifier sheet; the use, if any, of a timer or light system; the handling of exhibits; the time the remote site closes, if necessary; and the consequences of disrupting testimony.
Several other testifiers said people enrolling on the exchange would be vulnerable to fraud, hackers, and identity theft.
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.
Occasionally, testifiers made mention of Chinese women headed for bondage, such as a former bricklayer He Asi who mentioned travelling with 12 women during the passage (Deposition 376).
intervenes in this problem and addresses why black women fail to be considered credible testifiers as survivors of violence?
In the middle chapters (2, "Jamaica," 3, "Haiti," and 4, "Puerto Rico"), the author compares and contrasts the three societies in which he did ethnographic work which he sees as the "testifiers" of the noticeable differences of the cultures of the Caribbean.
Derrida's lengthy introduction to Blanchot's Instant of My Death is an attempt to explicate "the essence of testimony" as an exemplary instance which describes, informs, repeats an event to which testifiers have to bear witness.
Both women and male community testifiers pinpointed major concern about food security due to reduced agriculture yield.
The testifiers represent Environmental Defense, the American Chemistry Council, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the National Nanotechnology Coordinating Office.
Throughout the developed western world, coal miners have often been the most prominent testifiers to the nature of their work; though often in the context of enquiries into the disruptions caused by labour strife over working conditions or to enquire into massive accidents.
In the TRC's final report, Archbishop Tutu acknowledges that the "truth" sought by the TRC "will, in the very nature of things, never be fully revealed." (18) In spite of the impossibility of any sense of objective "truth", Lincoln argues (by invoking the work of trauma theorist Dori Laub) that the importance of the testimonies collected by the TRC lies not in the historical veracity of the testifiers' memories (which are obviously fallible to some extent, at least from a perspective seeking omniscient objectivity).
"Testifiers at the Poverty Truth Commission will describe these personal struggles and also their determination to effect the changes that will make a better Scotland for all of us."