burden of proof

  • 1.

    In each action, the party who makes a claim against another has to offer proof to support the claim. The law requires different amounts of proof for different types of cases. In criminal cases, the proof must be "beyond a reasonable doubt." In most civil cases, the amount is a "preponderance" of the evidence. In some civil cases, the proof must be "clear and convincing," which is higher than a preponderance but less than beyond a reasonable doubt. In the jury instructions, the judge tells the jury which standard applies and what it means.

    Oregon Judicial Department 1
  • 2.

    The duty to prove disputed facts. In civil cases, a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. In criminal cases, the government has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt. (See

    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 2

1Oregon Judicial Department, Juror Information: Glossary of Terms, http://­www.ojd.state.or.us/­jurorinfo/­glossary.htm (last accessed May 27, 2009).

2United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Commonly Used Terms - U.S. Courts, http://­www.ca9.uscourts.gov/­content/­view.php?pk_id=0000000237 (last accessed May 28, 2009).