CACI 107 Witnesses

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

107 Witnesses

A witness is a person who has knowledge related to this case. You will have to decide whether you believe each witness and how important each witness’s testimony is to the case. You may believe all, part, or none of a witness’s testimony.

In deciding whether to believe a witness’s testimony, you may consider, among other factors, the following:

(a) How well did the witness see, hear, or otherwise sense what the witness described in court?

(b) How well did the witness remember and describe what happened?

(c) How did the witness look, act, and speak while testifying?

(d) Did the witness have any reason to say something that was not true? For example, did the witness show any bias or prejudice or have a personal relationship with any of the parties involved in the case or have a personal stake in how this case is decided?

(e) What was the witness’s attitude toward this case or about giving testimony?

Sometimes a witness may say something that is not consistent with something else the witness said. Sometimes different witnesses will give different versions of what happened. People often forget things or make mistakes in what they remember. Also, two people may see the same event but remember it differently. You may consider these differences, but do not decide that testimony is untrue just because it differs from other testimony.

However, if you decide that a witness did not tell the truth about something important, you may choose not to believe anything that witness said. On the other hand, if you think the witness did not tell the truth about some things but told the truth about others, you may accept the part you think is true and ignore the rest.

Do not make any decision simply because there were more witnesses on one side than on the other. If you believe it is true, the testimony of a single witness is enough to prove a fact.

New September 2003; Revised April 2004, June 2005, April 2007, December 2012, June 2015, December 2016, May 2020

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Directions for Use

This instruction may be given as an introductory instruction or as a concluding instruction after trial. (See CACI No. 5003, Witnesses.)

Sources and Authority

Role of Jury. Evidence Code section 312.

Considerations for Evaluating the Credibility of Witnesses. Evidence Code section 780.

Direct Evidence of Single Witness Sufficient. Evidence Code section 411.

“It should certainly not be of importance to tell the ordinary man of the world that he should distrust the statements of a witness whom he believes to be a liar.” (Wallace v. Pacific Electric Ry. Co. (1930) 105 Cal.App. 664, 671 [288 P. 834].)

Secondary Sources

7 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Trial, § 281
1A California Trial Guide, Unit 22, Rules Affecting Admissibility of Evidence, § 22.30 (Matthew Bender)
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, § 551.122 (Matthew Bender)
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial § 8.72 (Cal CJER 2019)