Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The difficulty in dealing with presumptions arises in part from the fact that the term embraces a host of different meanings, varying with the purposes underlying the presumption in a given situation. Unfortunately, the courts seldom articulate the meaning which they are attributing to the term and consequently do little to clear up the confusion... In Arnett v. Fuston, a negligence action, plaintiff argued that a verdict of not guilty against one of the two co-defendants was not supported by any evidence, and that a presumption should apply against him "for his election to stand on his motion for directed verdict and his failure to offer any evidence," because the facts of the accident were peculiarly within his knowledge and 'is silence gives rise to the presumption that his testimony, if given, would be contrary to his contention in his plea of not guilty."