) means to offer evidence
in support of an argument
, or elements of an affirmative defense
, often at trial
. A party with the burden of proof
must proffer sufficient evidence to carry that burden.
For example, in support of a particular argument, a party may proffer documentary evidence or witnesses.
Where a party is denied the right to introduce evidence because that evidence would be inflammatory, hearsay, or would lack sufficient authentication, that party must make a proffer of what the evidence would have shown in order to preserve the issue for appeal.