Division 1. Preliminary Provisions And Construction of California Evidence Code >> Division 1.
This code shall be known as the Evidence Code.
The rule of the common law, that statutes in derogation thereof
are to be strictly construed, has no application to this code. This
code establishes the law of this state respecting the subject to
which it relates, and its provisions are to be liberally construed
with a view to effecting its objects and promoting justice.
If any provision or clause of this code or application thereof
to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall
not affect other provisions or applications of the code which can be
given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to
this end the provisions of this code are declared to be severable.
Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, these
preliminary provisions and rules of construction shall govern the
construction of this code.
Division, chapter, article, and section headings do not in any
manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this
Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this code or of
any other statute, such reference shall apply to all amendments and
additions heretofore or hereafter made.
Unless otherwise expressly stated:
(a) "Division" means a division of this code.
(b) "Chapter" means a chapter of the division in which that term
(c) "Article" means an article of the chapter in which that term
(d) "Section" means a section of this code.
(e) "Subdivision" means a subdivision of the section in which that
(f) "Paragraph" means a paragraph of the subdivision in which that
The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the
future, the present.
The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.
The singular number includes the plural; and the plural, the
"Shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive.
(a) This code shall become operative on January 1, 1967, and
shall govern proceedings in actions brought on or after that date
and, except as provided in subdivision (b), further proceedings in
actions pending on that date.
(b) Subject to subdivision (c), a trial commenced before January
1, 1967, shall not be governed by this code. For the purpose of this
(1) A trial is commenced when the first witness is sworn or the
first exhibit is admitted into evidence and is terminated when the
issue upon which such evidence is received is submitted to the trier
of fact. A new trial, or a separate trial of a different issue,
commenced on or after January 1, 1967, shall be governed by this
(2) If an appeal is taken from a ruling made at a trial commenced
before January 1, 1967, the appellate court shall apply the law
applicable at the time of the commencement of the trial.
(c) The provisions of Division 8 (commencing with Section 900)
relating to privileges shall govern any claim of privilege made after
December 31, 1966.