Edwards 2014 (†617)Edwards, Timothy D. "The Admissibility of Electronically Stored Information under the Federal Rules of Evidence" Computer and Internet Lawyer 31:11 (November 2014), p.6-11.
- best evidence (p.10 ): After the proponent establishes that the evidence is relevant, authentic, and not hearsay, it still must over-come the best evidence rule. Under this rule, “[t]o prove the content of a writing, recording or photograph, the original writing, recording or photograph is required.” For electronically stored information, “original” means any printout – or other output readable by sight – if it accurately reflects the information. This principle is confirmed by case law that consistently recognizes that “so long as it accurately reflects the data,” printout or duplicate copies of electronic evidence are admissible. Proving that the document “accurately reflects the data” can be quite difficult given the malleable nature of [electronically stored information] and the limited information provided by a mere copy of the most recent version. To overcome this obstacle, the proponent must establish that the information, or data, has not changed since it was first created. Absent such proof, the document does not “accurately reflect the data” that gave rise to its creation. Of course, these problems do not apply if the proponent of the evidence is only trying to establish that the proposed information is the most recent version of the document in question. (†1408)