What is hearsay?

Clients tend to be most familiar with the legal term hearsay, but often do not truly understand what it means.  Hearsay is defined as an out of court statement offered for the truth of what it asserts.  The issue of hearsay is relevant during a trial or hearing as it relates to evidence.

Often when preparing for trial a client gives me  a document he or she wants to submit during the trial as evidence.  However, it is important to understand what is admissible and what is not admissible.  As an attorney it is my job to help my client navigate their case at trial, which includes preparing the evidence we intend to submit to the court.

For example, a client will show me an affidavit, of a person which helps prove an aspect of his or her case.  That affidavit is hearsay.  In that case, I will advise my client to bring that person in to testify at the trial if what they witness has to testify to is valuable. 

While there are many exceptions to the hearsay rule, a common exception in matrimonial law is a party admission which is also known as an admission against interest.  This means that a statement made out of court  by one party to another person who heard the statement of that party may testify in court to the statement of that party that he or she heard.  

This is just a brief overview in understanding how to prepare to admit evidence during a trial or a hearing.  Contact a lawyer at our office to learn more about how to prepare your case for a hearing or trial. 

Categories: Overview