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White papers, articles, and videos on legal-grade web captures

What You Need for Authenticated Web Evidence

Last Updated March 2024

Before evidence may be used in court, its authenticity must be established—proof that the evidence is really what the offering party says it is. Authenticating evidence captured from the internet or social media can be tricky. In fact, before they allow it in a courtroom, many judges subject web and social media evidence to closer examination than other evidence because it is believed to be more easily manipulated.  As Maryland’s Judge Paul Grimm noted in Lorriane v. Markel American Ins. Co, 241 F.R.D. 534, 542 (D. Md. 2007), “[a]uthentication of ESI [electronically stored information] may require greater scrutiny than that required for the authentication of ‘hard copy’ documents.”

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Authenticating Social Media Evidence: Federal Rules of Evidence 901(b)(1)

Last Updated March 2024

By Elana Harris

As mentioned in Part I of this series, Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) 901 deals with authentication. FRE 901(a) requires that each item of evidence be authenticated by producing “evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims.” Rule 901(b) provides a list of suggested ways to authenticate evidence. Several of the enumerated methods are particularly relevant to social media evidence and other webpage evidence such as blogs and corporate websites. In Part II of this series, we will discuss the challenges of authenticating social media evidence under Rule 901(b)(1). In particular, we will examine the issues that arise when the testifying witness presents printouts of a third party’s social media page to show that the party owns the profile and authored the content.

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Capture It Before It’s Gone: Politwoops and the Need for Independent Social Media Archiving Software

Last Updated March 2024

By Stephen Nazaran

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Authenticating Webpage Evidence: Introduction

Last Updated March 2024

By Elana Harris

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Admissibility of Online Evidence: It’s All in the Authentication

Last Updated March 2024

By Stephen Nazaran

Social media connects different cultures, and allows us to share photos and information with family and friends in real time. It also provides huge amounts of evidence potentially relevant to a variety of litigation matters, and courts are routinely asked to determine the admissibility of data preserved from various social media sites, including Facebook.

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