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Notice is a way to establish the existence of facts without evidence. In federal courts, notice may be taken of facts relating to the particular case, though no evidence is introduced, where the fact is 'not subject to reasonable dispute,' either because it is 'generally known within the territorial jurisdiction,' or is 'capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.' Fed.R.Evid. 201(b); see 9 John Henry Wigmore, Evidence § 2571, at 731-32 (J. Chadbourn rev. 1981). Thayer saw notice more as a branch of the theory of knowledge, or law in general, than the law of evidence, because '[i]n conducting a process of judicial reasoning, as of other reasoning, not a step can be taken without assuming something which has not been proved....' James B. Thayer, A Preliminary Treatise on Evidence 279 (1898). Neither judges nor jurors need check their knowledge and experience of life at the courthouse door. In a case for the sale of intoxicating liquor, a court properly refused a defense request for an instruction requiring the prosecution to prove that gin was intoxicating liquor, because 'everybody who knows what gin is, knows not only that it is ...

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