Burden Of Proof And What it Means.

Whenever a party brings an allegation in any type of case, that party must prove those allegations. The standard or burden of proof varies depending on the type of case involved. In civil cases, for example, the burden of proof is usually preponderance of the evidence. This standard requires the plaintiff to prove that the allegations in the complaint are more likely true than not. Many commentators have described it as the plaintiff ’s burden to tip the scales of proof in the plaintiff ’s direction. Others have attempted to quantify it by saying that if the plaintiff can establish the facts to 51%, then the plaintiff has satisfied preponderance of the evidence. There are different burdens of proof in different types of actions. For instance, in criminal cases, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If preponderance of the evidence is considered to be a slight tipping of the scale in the plaintiff’s favor, proof beyond a reasonable doubt would require the government to swing the scale entirely to its side. Although preponderance of the evidence is the most com- monly seen burden of proof, there are situations in which a civil litigant might have to prove his or her case by clear and convincing evidence. The standard of “clear and convincing evidence” is higher than preponderance of the evidence and less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It falls somewhere between these two burdens. Clear and convincing evidence requires the fact finder to determine with substantial certainty that the party’s allegations are true. 

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