March 11, 2015 Articles

The Relationship Between Hearsay and Business Records

Don't get caught without this potentially critical piece of evidence.

By Zachary G. Newman

One of the most commonly invoked hearsay exceptions relied on in business tort and commercial cases is the business records exception. As trials and evidentiary hearings in such cases become increasingly less frequent due to, among other things, growing court dockets and delays in discovery, trial lawyers tend to become a bit rusty with the rules of evidence. Many times a simple business record is the critical piece of evidence for the case, and a hiccup in the admissibility of that record can have a material impact on the court proceeding and its outcome.

Trial courts have “broad discretion in ruling on the admissibility of evidence,” and rulings “on evidentiary matters will be overturned only upon a showing of a clear abuse of the court’s discretion.” Urich v. Fish, 804 A.2d 795 (Conn. 2002). Accordingly, it is absolutely critical for trial attorneys to be adequately prepared to address hearsay concerns in business records.

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