In recent years, electronically stored information (ESI) has begun to play an increasingly important role in civil litigation. Although the e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 2006 provided guidelines for the discovery of this information, no accompanying changes were made to the Federal Rules of Evidence to govern the admissibility of this information at trial. This article outlines the vastly different ways courts have addressed this problem in three areas: authentication, hearsay, and the best evidence rule. After discussing the various approaches courts take in these areas, this article proposes specific amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence that would provide guidance to courts and litigants as to the admissibility of electronically stored information at trial.

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Publication Date

Winter 2010