To any seasoned trial attorney, the foundation objection shouldn’t trip up anyone. Akin to blocking and tackling in football, laying foundation for admission of evidence is almost taken for granted. But ask that same trial lawyer (only after a few adult beverages) if he or she has ever been tripped up on a foundation objection, many, if not most, will say they have. Heck, it happened to me on a couple of occasions when I was trying cases.
Even though fewer cases go to trial each year and the number of attorneys who have trial experience declines year after year, it is still important for every litigator to know how to lay a foundation for any exhibit. On top of that, with the explosion of digital evidence (both in quantity and types), it is doubly important to know how to lay a foundation for digital evidence at trial. Otherwise, the whole e-discovery process will be a waste of time if you cannot enter that smoking-gun email into evidence.
Enter “The Admissibility of Electronic Evidence,” by Hon. Paul Grimm (Ret.) and Kevin Brady of Redgrave LLP. Any litigator will want to read this concise guide before leaving for the courthouse. It lays out multiple avenues for the admission of digital evidence. Judge Grimm and Kevin also cover relevance analysis, authentication, hearsay and exceptions, and the Original Writing Rule (a/k/a Best Evidence Rule).
The handbook is easy to use and wonderfully organized. If you run in e-discovery circles, be sure to thank Kevin and Judge Grimm. They have done a great service for the legal profession.
Here is a link to the handbook.