Saturday, December 12, 2009

Evidence: Best Evidence Rule

Question:

When we say 'writing' in the best evidence rule, does it apply to recordings, radio broadcasts, tv broadcasts, video clips or is it strictly confined to 'writing' only?


Response:

The rule applies to writings, which also includes a recording, photograph or X ray. The definition in the Federal Rules is very broad, and would encompass all of your above examples. Keep in mind that the original "writing" must be produced if the terms of the "writing" are material, but if the original "writing" is unavailable, then secondary evidence will be admissible.

Best,

Sean