Burden of Persuasion


Burden of persuasion is an obligation on a party at trial to present sufficient evidence to persuade the fact-finder.  The party will have to convince the fact-finder to interpret the facts in a way that favors the party by using the applicable standards of proof to establish truth of a fact or assertions.  Once the burden has been entirely discharged to the satisfaction of the trier of fact, the party carrying the burden will succeed in its claim.  Generally the term burden of persuasion is used to avoid the ambiguity in the application of burden of proof.

In a civil adjudication, a plaintiff is required to establish his/her issue by “a preponderance of the evidence.”  A preponderance of the evidence is a body of evidence which contributes  more convincing evidence than the evidence offered in opposition.

To meet the burden of persuasion,  a party must offer evidence that is  “clear and convincing.”  Clear and convincing evidence requires the trier of fact to have a “firm belief” that the facts have been established.