Offer of Proof

Definition - What does Offer of Proof mean?

An offer of proof is a statement through which an attorney justifies asking a specific set of questions or requesting that certain evidence is admitted at trial. It is made in response to an objection and allowed when the judge believes that it may yield a viable result, and is preserved in the official trial record.

Justipedia explains Offer of Proof

Once an offer of proof becomes part of the trial record, it can be used on appeal to demonstrate the erroneous exclusion of evidence at trial.

As stipulated in the Federal Rules of Evidence, a claim as to the wrongful inclusion or exclusion of evidence is only acceptable if "the error affects a substantial right of the party and, if the ruling excludes evidence, a party informs the court of its substance by an offer of proof, unless the substance was apparent from the context."

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