Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Best Evidence Rule

The best evidence rule is hard to grasp for some people.  Mississippi Rule of Evidence 1002 states:  To prove the content of a writing, recording or photograph, the original writing, recording or photograph is required except as otherwise provided in these rules or by law. [Emphasis added]

The rule only applies and requires the original when a party is seeking to prove the content of the original.  Farris v. State, 906 So.2d 113, 115 (Miss. App. 2004).  It does not apply simply because there exists a writing, recording or photograph that may be considered the “best” evidence of the matter. I have heard of some defense attorneys trying to make a best evidence objection at trial with a party testifying about how much they lost in wages or the amount of medical bills.  If a party has personal knowledge of the matters, the best evidence rule does not come into play.  If they do not have personal knowledge and are only testifying as to what the documents say, the documents need to be produced.  

No comments:

Post a Comment