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What is the exception to the hearsay rule for business records?

Suisun City, CA |

If one party wants to admit an item as being something detrimental to my case how do I get around this business record rule to hearsay? It doesn't seem proper that a party can introduce something without having a live witness to authenticate the evidence as being what it is purported to be.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Agreed.

Posted

Recent U.S. Supreme Court caselaw would dictate that if the document were prepared in anticipation of litigation it would be violative of the right to confront - business record or not. Without knowing anything about the document it is difficult to say whether or not an argument could be made that it was prepared in anticipation of litigation.

Posted

If you are in state court, see California Rules of Evidence 1271 and 1272.

If you are in federal court, see Federal Rules of Evidence 803.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with your own attorney.

Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns

Posted

Just a suggestion: if it is admitted as evidence you might want to be prepared to address it.

Posted

Hearsay that is admissible because of the business record exception to the prohibition of hearsay must nevertheless be authenticated by the testimony of a competent witness to the facts necessary to establish the exception.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman

Posted

Exactly right!

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman

Posted

As usual.

Anthony F Della Pelle

Anthony F Della Pelle

Posted

As Christine correctly points out, the exceptions to the hearsay rule of evidence cover situations where the reliability of the potential evidence is otherwise sufficient to allow it to be admissible even if the declarant is not available to testify and stand cross-examination. Business records fall into this category if they can be "authenticated" and therefore are shown to have been created and kept in the ordinary course of business operations.

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