Foundation Law & Legal Definition


Foundation is subject to different meanings, but in evidence law it refers to the introductory evidence necessary to establish the admissibility of other evidence. For example, the necessary foundation in criminal or civil cases for the admission of business records is testimony that: 1) The business habitually prepares the type of record at issue. 2) The record is necessary to the regular conduct of the business. 3) The record was prepared at or near the time of the events recorded in the document. 4) The record was prepared by, or from information transmitted by, a person within the business with personal knowledge of the acts, events or information appearing in the record.

Foundations are the preliminary proof required to admit evidence. An objection to foundation tests the legal sufficiency of the proof offered to qualify the evidence for admission. Such a well focused foundation objection is necessary to allow the judge to evaluate the merits of the disputed evidence, and to allow the opponent a reasonable opportunity to correct the insufficiency.