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10 Charleston L. Rev. 159 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/charlwrev10 and id is 165 raw text is: 


                    Christopher  P.  Guzelian*

    The  most  satisfactory law is invisible: conflicts are resolved
peaceably  before formal  justice is ever sought.  In a less artful
remainder,   adversarial parties  go  to court. Litigating  parties
bring  with them   evidence  and  witnesses  calculated to achieve
victory, whether   civil or criminal. Victory,  itself, comes with
social cost because it requires a resentful loser. But  even if not
ideal, American  courts preserve a baseline of truth and justice for
the  nation-if  only  through   the  government's   prerogative  to
enforce verdicts. American  society has always  strongly supported
this  truth-seeking  through   its justice  system.'  Indeed,   the
American   Federal  Rules  of Evidence  reflect this imperative by
indicating that their sole purpose  is to the end of ascertaining
the truth and securing  a just determination.2
    Despite  our justice system's noble  aspirations, truth fatigue
has calcified in our era. Misgivings about reality-about   whether

      * Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego,
      1. Ronald J. Allen, Truth and Its Rivals, 49 HASTINGS L.J. 309, 319 (1998)
(A legal world in which facts and truth do not much matter would be, I think,
an unpleasant place to inhabit. Security is lost. Planning is impossible.); Letter
from George Washington to Edmund  Randolph (July 31, 1795), in 13 THE
WRITINGS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, 1794-1798 61 (Worthington Chauncey Ford
ed., 1892) ([T]here is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and
pursue it steadily.).
     2. FED. R. EVID. 102; see also Christopher P. Guzelian, False Speech:
Quagmire?, 51 SAN DIEGO L. REV. 19 passim (2014) (discussing importance of
truth-seeking in law). Cf. Triplett v. State, 132 So. 448, 450 (Miss. 1931)
(Different testimony containing the truth of gold and mixed with the dross of
error and falsehood is carried into the crucible of the common sense minds of
twelve men selected for their intelligence, sound judgment, and fair character,
and these minds constituting the crucible of reason often separate the refined
gold from the dross.).


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