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witness-1

{h,1}witness ( n ) Old English witnes knowledge, testimony, witness, from wit mind, sense, knowledge

1 a :attestation of a fact or event [in ⁓ whereof the parties have executed this release]

b :evidence (as of the authenticity of a conveyance by deed) furnished by signature, oath, or seal

2 :one who gives evidence regarding matters of fact under inquiry

specif :one who testifies or is legally qualified to testify in a case or to give evidence before a judicial tribunal or similar inquiry [a ⁓ before a congressional committee] [no person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a ⁓ against himself U.S. Constitution amend. V] compare affiant deponent


adverse witness :a witness who is called by or associated with an opposing party or who by statement, conduct, or other evidence (as of relationship) shows bias against or is injurious to the case of the party by whom the witness is called [sought to have his witness declared an adverse witness subject to impeachment] called also hostile witness see also leading question at question


alibi witness :a witness upon whom a criminal defendant relies in establishing an alibi


character witness :a witness who testifies as to the character or reputation esp. of a criminal defendant

:a witness who gives character evidence


expert witness :a witness (as a medical specialist) who by virtue of special knowledge, skill, training, or experience is qualified to provide testimony to aid the factfinder in matters that exceed the common knowledge of ordinary people


hostile witness :adverse witness in this entry


lay witness :a witness who is not an expert witness


material witness :a witness whose testimony is necessary for trial and whose presence may sometimes be secured by the state by subpoena, custody, or recognizance


prosecuting witness :a witness (as the victim of a crime) whose own allegations initiate the prosecution of the defendant


qualified witness :a witness who has sufficient understanding of a record-keeping system to provide testimony that forms the proper foundation for admission of evidence under the business records exception to the hearsay rule


rebuttal witness :a witness called upon to rebut evidence already presented

3 :one who is called on to be present at a transaction so as to be able to testify to its occurrence

specif :one who sees the execution of an instrument and signs it to confirm its authenticity [a ⁓ to a will]

4 :eyewitness [a ⁓ to an assault]

bear witness :to furnish or constitute proof or evidence



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