Pedigree (law)

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Pedigree (from the French, pied de grue, lit. 'crane's foot') is the legal principle that allows a witness to testify as to his name and certain family details under the American and English common law concepts of evidence with no additional foundation. Otherwise, establishing the identity of the witness would waste much of the court's (and the jury's) time. Pedigree is, like many old rules of evidence, either a rule or an exception, depending upon how it is used.