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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.


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


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)


verb acknowledge openly, affirm, affirm under oath, allege, assert, asseverate, attest, aver, avow, be sworn, bear witness, declare, depone, depose, establish, express, give evidence, give one's word, indicate, make solemn declaration, profess, prove, show, state, state a fact, state a truth, swear, take one's oath, take the stand, testari, testificari, verify
Associated concepts: compulsion to testify, privilege against self-incrimination, testify in one's own defense, testify under oath
See also: acknowledge, adduce, attest, avouch, avow, bear, bespeak, certify, inform, manifest, notify, posit, promise, swear, verify, vouch, vow


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 ?
If you cannot testify to something the attorney wishes you to, suggest another approach that can be independently supported.
Technical witnesses testify to the specific and formula-driven benefits of insurance; paid $175 an hour
If experts were not licensed in Florida, they would be asked to obtain a certificate from the Florida Board of Medicine allowing them to testify.
As Carol Henderson, a former federal prosecutor now teaching law at Nova Southeastern University, puts it: "If experts are professionals, they ought to be held accountable just like any other professionals" Although expert witnesses generally can't be sued by the people they testify against, there's nothing stopping their own employers from taking them to court.
It's just hard to afford the clinical psychologists or physicians who will testify that the poor parent is competent.
Determining the extent to which the government has an obligation to provide personnel and disciplinary information concerning officers who may testify is a complicated endeavor, not subject to simple generalizations and often raising sensitive privacy and professional issues.
Learning how to testify while displaying a demeanor consistent with the defendant role is a major adjustment.
the facts as to which she would testify could also have been established in substantial part by other witnesses.
Officers who testify should register to speak before the hearing begins and arrive at the hearing room at the designated time.
Included in court-related expenses is on-call overtime - nearly $9 million paid out last year to officers just waiting to be summoned to testify in felony or misdemeanor cases.