The best evidence rule applies when a party wants to admit as evidence the contents of a document at trial, but that the original document is not available. In this case, the party must provide an acceptable excuse for its absence. If the document itself is not available, and the court finds the excuse provided acceptable, then the party is allowed to use secondary evidence to prove the contents of the document and have it as admissible evidence. The best evidence rule only applies when a party seeks to prove the contents of the document sought to be admitted as evidence.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A rule of evidence that demands that the original of any document, photograph, or recording be used as evidence at trial, rather than a copy. A copy will be allowed into evidence only if the original is unavailable.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:11 pm