In both commercial and civil litigation, a successful outcome often depends on expert evidence management.
Documentary evidence can be a combination of paper and electronic information. Here are four ways to challenge whether such evidence is admissible in court.
Authentication is a matter of confirming that a piece of evidence is what it purports to be. Someone can admit on the record that a particular document exists, or a witness might confirm that it is what it claims to be or that the signature is authentic.
Parol evidence rule
By assuming that the information contained in a signed agreement is the final, complete agreement of those who executed the document, this rule prohibits the consideration of any other agreements made before or at the same time as the signed agreement.
The court may use the best evidence rule to hold that copies of certain documents in place of the originals are not admissible. However, the court may allow mechanically reproduced documents if there is no objection, and it will permit summaries of lengthy documents if the originals are available for examination.
Documents that contain statements made outside of court and that are not made under oath are usually considered hearsay if used as proof that the statements are true.
Importance of preserving evidence
Anyone facing the prospect of litigation must preserve evidence, which includes saving information that exists in any form and on any kind of device. In the detailed process of evidence management, documentary evidence is essential as is the ability to anticipate the challenges and know how certain pieces of evidence will stand up in court.