- Offer of proof
In the context of a trial or a hearing, a presiding judge may issue a ruling denying a party the right to proffer evidence. The party aggrieved by this ruling then has the right to indicate for the record what the evidence would have shown had the adverse ruling not been issued. This is necessary in order to preserve the issue for appeal.
In jury trials, offers of proof may be made outside the hearing of the jury. A party may request a motion in limine (Latin: "at the threshold") made before the start of a trial requesting that the judge rule that certain evidence may, or may not, be introduced to the jury in a trial. In some cases this may be made at the bench (with the court reporter taking down every word spoken by the parties and the judge) or the jury may be excused. It is common for the jury to be excused and for a party to be allowed to continue questioning a witness outside the hearing of the jury until the judge can determine if the evidence sought is relevant and not otherwise excludable.
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