Judicial Notice

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Do you think judicial notice is important? Why or why not?

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I would not say that judicial notice is a terribly important doctrine.  Instead, I would say that it is more of a convenient doctrine.  If there were no such doctrine, American legal proceedings would not be all that different.  Therefore, it is not a very important doctrine.

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I would not say that judicial notice is a terribly important doctrine.  Instead, I would say that it is more of a convenient doctrine.  If there were no such doctrine, American legal proceedings would not be all that different.  Therefore, it is not a very important doctrine.

Under the doctrine of judicial notice, a judge can essentially allow a fact of some sort to be used as evidence without requiring expert testimony to establish that fact.  As this link tells us,

A judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

In other words, this has to be something that everyone knows or that can be proven very easily and beyond any reasonable question.

This is not a very important doctrine because, were it not for this doctrine, the facts at issue could still easily be proven.  For example, let us say that for some reason it was important to establish that McDonald’s sells hamburgers that are not flame-broiled.  If judicial notice were not allowed, it would be easy enough to get the manager of a McDonald’s to testify as to how their hamburgers are made.  This means that the doctrine of judicial notice is not really all that important.

The doctrine is, however, convenient.  It allows a fact to be established without (in this case) wasting a McDonald’s manager’s time by making them come and testify.  It can make trials shorter and less tedious.  Therefore, it is a convenient doctrine, but not a very important one.

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