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Authentication of Photograph at Trial

A photograph needs to be authenticated at trial just like any other evidence.  A recent decision impacts what can happen if a photograph at trial is NOT properly authenticated. In City of Miami v. Kho, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2555c (Fla. 3d DCA 2019), a plaintiff slipped and fell on a sidewalk.  The plaintiff claimed she slipped in a difference in elevation of the sidewalk which constituted a dangerous and defective condition that the City of Miami had knowledge of.  The plaintiff could not prove the City had actual knowledge of the difference in elevation of the sidewalk at-issue, so she focused on...

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Authentication of Document and the “Reply Letter Doctrine”

Authenticating evidence, such as a document, is important to show that the document being admitted into evidence is what it purports to be. See Fla. Stat. s. 90.901 (“Authentication…of evidence is required as a condition precedent to its admissibility. The requirements…satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”) Thus, it’s a reliable document so it can be admitted into evidence. For instance, if a letter is sent or an e-mail is sent, you want someone to be able to testify that they sent that letter / e-mail, they recognize the signature of the...

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