Doctrine of Completeness

Under Rule 106 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, when part of a writing or recorded statement is introduced, an adverse party may require introduction of any other part or any other writing or recorded statement which ought in fairness to be considered contemporaneously with the writing or recorded statement originally introduced. This additional evidence is called explanatory evidence, and its purpose is to qualify, explain or put in context the original piece of introduced evidence.

The explanatory writing does not have to be part of same writing or recording. Additionally, even otherwise inadmissible evidence, such as hearsay, can be admissible under this rule if it is necessary to correct any confusion or wrongful impression created by the admission of the original evidence.
 

 

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