December 20, 2018 Feature

Clearing the Hurdles of Admissibility for Social Media Evidence

By Amy M. Stewart and Raha Assadi

When analyzing the admissibility of electronically stored information (ESI) such as social media data, practitioners should remember that ESI should be treated like any other evidence. With all evidence, the proponent must clear the evidentiary hurdles: show that the ESI is relevant under Federal Rule of Evidence 401 and similar state evidence rules; establish its authenticity under Federal Rule of Evidence 902; address hearsay issues; resolve issues of unfair prejudice and probative value; and demonstrate that the ESI complies with the best evidence rule.

Authentication is only the first hurdle to admissibility.

Authentication is only the first hurdle to admissibility.

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