Eyewitness (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
An individual who was present during an event and is called by a party in a lawsuit to testify as to what he or she observed.
The state and FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE, which govern the admissibility of evidence in civil actions and criminal proceedings, impose requirements that must be met before the testimony of an eyewitness can be presented during trial. For example, an eyewitness must be competent (legally fit) and qualified to testify in court. A witness who was intoxicated or insane at the time the controverted event occurred will be prevented from testifying, regardless of whether he or she was the only eyewitness to the occurrence.
(The entire section is 109 words.)
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