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Best Evidence Rule

A. Generally:

The best evidence rule expresses a preference for the use of original document, rather than reproductions. Thus some refer to the “best evidence” rule as the “original document” rule.

B. Definitions (See FRE 1001)

1. Writings and Recordings:
Letters, words, or numbers, or their equivalent, set down by handwriting or various mechanical devices.

2. Photographs:
Still photographs, X-rays, video tapes and motion pictures.

3. Original:
The writing or recording itself, or any duplicate intended to have the same effect by a person executing or issuing it.

4. Duplicate:
A counterpart produced by the same impression as the original or by a mechanical device which accurately reproduces the original.

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