n. ~ 1. IP2 · Testimony that is based on second-hand, rather than personal, knowledge. – 2. Information, generally considered untrustworthy, that was received indirectly, rather than through personal, direct knowledge. – 3. Rumor, gossip.
In United States courts, some records may be admissible at trial under the business rule exemption to the hearsay rule (Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 803). For example, records of regularly conducted activities may be admitted if a) the record was made at or near the time by someone with knowledge of the events in the record, b) it was kept in the course of regular business, c) creation of such records was regular practice, d) that these provisions can be certified by a custodian or qualified witness, and d) the opponent does not give adequate explanation that indicates a lack of trustworthiness.
- Black's 7th (†419 p. 726): Traditionally, testimony that is given by a witness who relates not what he or she knows personally, but what others have said, and that is therefore dependent on the credibility of someone other than the witness.
- IP2 Dictionary (†242 s.v. hearsay rule): n., A legal provision excluding testimony that is based on second-hand, rather than personal, knowledge (hearsay). [Archives] n., A statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. [Government] n., The rule that no assertion offered as testimony can be received unless it is or has been open to test by cross-examination or an opportunity for cross-examination, except as provided otherwise by the rules of evidence, by court rules, or by statute. [Government]
- IP2 Glossary (†386 s.v. hearsay rule): n., A legal provision excluding testimony that is based on second-hand, rather than personal, knowledge (hearsay). [Archives ]
- OED 3rd (CD) 2004 (†499 ): 1. That which one hears or has heard some one say; information received by word of mouth, usually with the implication that it is not trustworthy; oral tidings; report, tradition, rumor, common talk, gossip. – 2. a) Of the nature of hearsay. b) founded or depending upon what one has heard said, but not within one's direct knowledge.
- Fed R Ed 2013 (†422 s.v. "Rule 801. Definitions . . . "): A statement that 1) [a person making an oral assertion, written assertion, or nonverbal conduct, if intended as an assertion] does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing; and 2) a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. [The rule continues with statements that are not hearsay.] (†539)
- Fed R Ed 2013 (†422 s.v. "Rule 803(6) Exception to the rule again): [The business exception to hearsay (6) Records of a Regularly Conducted Activity. ¶ A record of an act, event, condition, opinion, or diagnosis if: A) the record was made at or near the time by – or from information transmitted by – someone with knowledge; B) the record was kept in the course of a regularly conducted activity of a business, organization, occupation, or calling, whether or not for profit; C) making the record was a regular practice of that activity; D) all these conditions are shown by the testimony of the custodian or another qualified witness, or by a certification that complies with Rule 902(11) or (12) or with a statute permitting certification; and E) neither the source of information nor the method or circumstances of preparation indicate a lack of trustworthiness. (†540)