Rule 301. Presumptions in Civil Cases Generally
In a civil case, unless a federal statute or these rules provide otherwise, the party against whom a presumption is directed has the burden of producing evidence to rebut the presumption. But this rule does not shift the burden of persuasion, which remains on the party who had it originally.
Rule 302. Applying State Law to Presumptions in Civil Cases
In a civil case, state law governs the effect of a presumption regarding a claim or defense for which state law supplies the rule of decision.
In all cases a presumption imposes on the party against whom it is directed the burden of proving that the nonexistence of the presumed fact is more probable than its existence. It is limited to “civil actions and proceedings” to effectuate its decision not to deal with the question of presumptions in criminal cases. A reference to the socalled “bursting bubble” theory of presumptions, whereby a presumption vanished upon the appearance of any contradicting evidence by the other party, gives to presumptions too slight an effect. On the other hand, whereby a presumption permanently alters the burden of persuasion, no matter how much contradicting evidence is introduced—a view shared by a few courts—lends too great a force to presumptions. The Rule adopts an intermediate position under which a presumption does not vanish upon the introduction of contradicting evidence, and does not change the burden of persuasion; instead it is merely deemed sufficient evidence of the fact presumed, to be considered by the jury or other finder of fact.
Application of the state law is called for only when the presumption operates upon such an element. Accordingly the rule does not apply state law when the presumption operates upon a lesser aspect of the case, i.e. “tactical” presumptions.