This chapter identifies the domain of evidence law discussed throughout the book. It draws a fundamental distinction between the fact-finding objective of the law and objectives extraneous to fact-finding that the law promotes through rulings on evidence. It identifies three categories of genuinely evidential rules and doctrines: (1) rules and doctrines that minimize the risk of error by enhancing the accuracy of fact-finding; (2) rules and doctrines that reduce the costs that fact-finding procedures and decisions incur; and (3) rules and doctrines that apportion the risk of error between litigants. The chapter also analyzes the means-end relationship between evidence rules and the controlling substantive law.
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