Clear and Convincing Evidence Law and Legal Definition

Clear and convincing evidence refers to the standard of proof commonly used in civil lawsuits and in regulatory agency cases. It governs the amount of proof that must be offered in order for the plaintiff to win the case. It is also defined as the evidence that proves a matter by preponderance of the evidence that is required in civil cases and beyond the reasonable doubt needed to convict in a criminal case. It can be seen that in cases relating to health laws, it is up to the individual states to decide whether or not to require clear and convincing evidence in proceedings where a guardian seeks to discontinue life sustaining treatment for a permanently ill person.