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Definition of Clear And Convincing Evidence

Clear and convincing evidence is a standard of proof greater than a preponderance of evidence but lower than the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt (which is required in criminal cases). Under the clear and convincing level of proof a party must prove it is "substantially more likely than not that it is true."

Most personal injury cases or tort cases must be won through a preponderance of evidence. Some cases, however, can only be won if the plaintiff meets the "clear and convincing evidence" standard. Common civil cases which use the clear and convincing evidence standard include administrative hearings, habeas corpus, and some fraud claims.

The definition of clear and convincing is not clearly defined by the courts.Some experts explain this standard as less than "beyond a reasonable doubt" which should be as close to 100% percent as possible and higher than a preponderance of evidence, which is viewed as above 50%. Some argue clear and convincing evidence requires the plaintiff to prove their case is more than 51% likely to be true, but less than 100%.

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