Burden of Evidence Law and Legal Definition

Burden of evidence refers to the duty of a party to proceed with evidence at the beginning, or at any subsequent stage, of the trial, in order to make or meet a prima facie case.

The following is an example of a case law on burden of evidence:

There is an important difference between the "burden of proof" and the "burden of evidence." The "burden of evidence" is the burden of getting by the judge to the jury, by making a prima-facie showing as to each factual ingredient necessary to establish a prima-facie case. Having done this, a plaintiff has discharged his burden of evidence, and the burden shifts to the defendant to produce (if he desires) competent controverting evidence which, if believed, will offset the plaintiff's prima facie case. If this is done, the defendant has met the burden of evidence cast upon him, and made a prima-facie defense, whereupon the burden swings back to the plaintiff to bring forward evidence in rebuttal, and so on. But, during all this time the burden of proof, the risk of non-persuasion, remains with the plaintiff, except as to affirmative defenses, etc. The burden of evidence is simply the burden of making or meeting a prima-facie case. [McCloskey v. Koplar, 329 Mo. 527 (Mo. 1932)].