Testimony De Benne Esse Law and Legal Definition

Testimony de benne esse refers to a testimony that is taken in advance of a trial because it is in the danger of being lost before it can be given at a trial or proceeding. De bene esse is Latin for "of well being." A testimony de benne esse is ordinarily taken because of the impending death or departure of the witness.

A testimony via de benne esse deposition of any or all witnesses may be offered to the jury. [Catalano v. BRI, Inc., 724 F. Supp. 1580 (D. Mich. 1989)]. Such testimonies are taken in advance because the testimony may be significant to the outcome of a pending trial, either civil or criminal, but the testimony cannot wait until the trial most often because of the imminent death of the witness. However, the taking of testimony de bene esse by a party to an action does not ipso facto make such testimony a part of the record. Such testimonies may or may not be offered by the party at whose instance it has been procured. [Baker v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 184 S.C. 341 (S.C. 1937)].