hearsay rule

n.Provisions in the Federal Rules of Evidence (801-807) that disallow testimony by a witness that is based on what another person has said, rather than on the witness's personal knowledge.


Most state courts have similar provisions in their rules of evidence. The rule allows 28 exceptions. Business records, written recollections, and other documents may be allowed as evidence under these exceptions.


Garner 1999, p. 726 The chief reasons for the rule are that out-of-court statements amounting to hearsay are not made under oath and are not subject to cross-examination.