Anything done, or said; an act or action; an actual occurrence; a circumstance; whatever comes to pass; an event.
Subjects of jurisprudence are facts and laws: facts are the source and cause of laws. From facts proceed rights and wrongs. By fact is meant anything the subject of testimony. Perception is a fact. If any emotion is felt, as joy, grief, anger, the feeling is a fact. If the operation of the mind is productive of an effect, as intention, knowledge, skill, the possession of this effect is a fact. If any proposition be true, whatever is affirmed or denied in it is a fact.
"Fact" and "truth" are often used in common parlance as synonymous; as employed in pleadings they are widely different. A fact in pleading is a circumstance, act, event or incident; a truth is a legal principle which declares or governs the facts and their operative effect.
William C. Anderson,
? – ? Dictionary of Law. Chicago, 1889.
A judge is not supposed to know anything about the facts of life until they have been presented in evidence, and explained to him at least three times.
Hubert Lister Parker, Baron Parker of Waddington PC
28 May 1900 – 15 September 1972 Quoted in Observer (London, March 12, 1961).