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Demeanor

witness trial

The outward physical behavior and appearance of a person.

Demeanor is not merely what someone says but the manner in which it is said. Factors that contribute to an individual's demeanor include tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and carriage.

The term demeanor is most often applied to a witness during a trial. Demeanor evidence is quite valuable in shedding light on the credibility of a witness, which is one of the reasons why personal presence at trial is considered to be of paramount importance and has great significance concerning the HEARSAY rule. To aid a jury in its determination of whether or not it should believe or disbelieve particular testimony, it should be provided with the opportunity to hear statements directly from a witness in court whenever possible.

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