Thursday, September 30, 2010

Admissibility of Writings and Recorded Statements

I am slowly going through the new Illinois Rules of Evidence, which will become effective on January 1, 2011.  I will be writing about some of the more interesting ones.  The new rules are on the Supreme Court's website here.

Rule 106 concerns the remainder of writings and recorded statements. Here is the rule:
When a writing or recorded statement or part thereof is introduced by a party, an adverse party may require the introduction at that time of any other part or any other writing or recorded statement which ought in fairness to be considered contemporaneously with it.
This would probably not be an issue in a case where you have completed discovery. That way, if my opponent offers only part of a document, I will simply offer the rest of it during my case because I will have a copy going in.

But this rule could become useful in small claims court. I have seen lawyers try to introduce only parts of documents a couple of times. Mainly in credit card cases where the plaintiff only seeks to admit certain paragraphs or pages of the 25 page cardholder agreement.

With an objection under this rule, you would hope that they don't even have the complete document with them. That way even the portion that they have should be excluded.

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