Clear and Convincing Evidence

An evidentiary standard of proof which requires the party bearing the burden to prove a fact to present evidence indicating the fact to be highly probable or reasonable certain.

This is a greater standard than “preponderance of evidence” burden of proof that is used in most civil trials, but lesser than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal trials.

The “clear and convincing evidence” standard of proof is employed in both civil and criminal law cases.

For instance, to prove a defamation per se cause of action in a civil trial, , most states require the plaintiff to prove by clear and convicting evidence that the defendant knew the statements to be false or had serious doubts regarding the truth of the statements.

 California Jury Instruction No. 201. More Likely True — Clear and Convincing Proof

“Certain facts must be proved by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher burden of proof.  This means the party must persuade you that it is highly probable that the fact is true.”

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