testify

(redirected from testifying)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms.

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 ?
Susan Collins of Maine, who is also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and considered among the most moderate members of Congress, supported Mueller potentially testifying.
asking them to basically take off for a few days between traveling and coming here to prep and testifying and traveling back home is not the easiest thing in the world," he added.
The case involved a Muslim woman who sought to wear the veil known as a niqab, which leaves only the eyes exposed, while testifying against her uncle and a cousin whom she claims sexually assaulted her when she was a child, the New York Daily News reports.
The Court of Appeal in the province of Ontario was considering a Toronto case involving an alleged sexual assault victim, identified only as N.S., who wished to wear her niqab--a face veil with a slit for the eyes--while testifying at a preliminary hearing against two men accused of assaulting her.
For additional information, refer to the module on "The Role of the Nurse as a Testifying Expert" in the Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting[R] textbook and to the CLNC[R] Certification Program.
Hauser promised the Department of Justice that he would place a "yoke of silence" around Jesse Trentadue's neck by testifying that the family lawyer had paid inmates to perjure themselves.
Rehm, testifying in federal court recently, stated, "That's the first where I really saw the school board meetings sort of going downhill and degrading into not very positive discussions."
CHAT show host Larry King has been barred from testifying in Michael Jackson's defence at the singer's child molestation trial.
A Law Enforcement Officer's Guide to Testifying in Court by James M.
That is, until I reached the conclusion: 'For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.' So much of PWRDF's role is of witness, to testify to the truth on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada In testifying to the truth, PWRDF engages with the parishes and dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada to ensure their involvement in the struggle for a more just and equitable world.
While the circumstances between my "tour of duty" and those testifying before the ITC were vastly different, a connection does exist--an individual sacrificing for the good of the whole.