Legal Definition and Related Resources of Best Evidence
Meaning of Best Evidence
Such proof as is best obtainable under existing circumstances. See state v Jeffersen, 460 P.2d 610, 204 Kan. 50. In relation to documents, the best proof of the terms or contents therein is the original document itself. However, it is a rule of preference which allows introduction of other evidence of the terms of a document where the absence or unavailability of the original is satisfactorily accounted for. See Don Flovd Builders Inc. v Paltrow, 330 A.2d82, 133 Vt. 79.
Best Evidence Alternative Definition
The best evidence ol which the nature of the case admits, not the highest or strongest evidence which the nature of the thing to be proved admits of; e. g., a copy of a deed is not the best evidence; the deed itself is better. Gilb. Ev. IB; Starkie, Ev. 437; 2 Campb. 605; 3 Campb. 236; 1 Esp. 127; 1 Pet. (U.S.) 591; 6 Pet. (U.S.) 352; 7 Pet. (U.S.) 100. The term is confined to cases where the law has divided evidence into primary and secondary. 33 Mich..53. The rule requiring the best evidence does not exclude a witness on the ground that another is more credible, but merely excludes such evidence as is substitutionary in its character, if the original evidence can be had. 65 Me. 467.
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Best Evidence Legal Definition
In proving what”s in a document, the best evidence is the document itself, and unless it”s not available, no other evidence is admissible to prove it.
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Primary evidence. Cf. best evidence rule.
Meaning of Best Evidence in the U.S. Legal System
Definition of Best Evidence published by the National Association for Court Management: Primary evidence; the best evidence available. Evidence short of this is “secondary.” That is, an original letter is “best evidence,” and a photocopy is “secondary evidence.”