In 1999, a district court judge in Texas unceremoniously rejected a plaintiff’s efforts to overcome a motion to dismiss with “voodoo information taken from the Internet”—a technology that the court “view[ed] . . . largely as one large catalyst for rumor, innuendo, and misinformation.” St. Clair v. Johnny’s Oyster & Shrimp, Inc., 76 F. Supp. 2d 773, 774–75 (S.D. Tex. 1999). While some things haven’t changed much (including the Internet’s capacity for spreading “rumor, innuendo, and misinformation”), others have—including courts’ willingness to entertain arguments that certain Internet records qualify as public records under the hearsay exception in Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8).
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