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A Clear Understanding of Unequivocal

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A Clear Understanding of Unequivocal

The English word, unequivocal derives from Late Latin, Latin and the root, "wek" from Proto-Indo-European language. In the English language the meaning is, admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; clear and unambiguous (Houghton, Mifflin, 3d Edition.) The first known use of the word was used in 1784. John Adams stated, "I do therefore in the most unequivocal manner decline and refuse to be a competitor with that faithful servant of the public for the peace in question" (Adams, 1784). I will discuss how the term is interrupted in the legal arena to give you a better understanding of the word.

Blacks Law Dictionary (5th Edition) defines the term unequivocal as clear; plain; capable of being understood in only one way, or as clearly demonstrated. Free from uncertainty, or without doubt; and, when used with reference to the burden of proof, it implies proof of the highest possible character. When used in the legal arena, unequivocal can sometimes stump the lay person. Its meaning is unclear and can provoke questioning. Let's take a look at some cases involving this issue.

In the case, Yenawine vs. Common Wealth of Kentucky, Yenawine argued that the trial court erred by admitting an incriminating statement obtained by the police in violation of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, and in violation of his rights under Sec. 11 of the Kentucky Constitution. The court held that his statement to the police, "I might need to speak with my lawyer about whether I should talk with you," and handed them the business card of his wife's attorney" was not an unequivocal (not free of uncertainty) request for counsel that a reasonable officer would have interpreted it as such and stopped the questioning and called Yenawine's attorney.

Let's consider an oral agreement. When an oral agreement is made between two parties both parties take in good faith and assume each party will honor the agreement. In court an oral agreement is subject to the defense of the statute of frauds, unless facts were proved that would take it out of the operation of the statute. There are certain conditions that the courts have always insisted must exist and be proved. One is that the contract and its terms must be established by clear and unequivocal evidence (Christensen v. Christensen).

The standard of proof is also known as, "Clear, Unequivocal, Satisfactory, and Convincing Evidence", and is applied in cases or situations involving an equitable remedy or where a presumptive civil liberty interest exists. The party with the burden of proof must convince the court that it is primarily more likely than not that the issue is in fact true beyond a reasonable doubt.

That being said, many lawyers and judges will present factual information in clear, convincing and unequivocal statements to make implicit arguments



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