Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lorraine v. Markel American Ins. Co. (U.S.D.C. MD)

Filed May 4, 2007--Opinion by Judge Paul Grimm

In an action brought to enforce a private arbitrator’s award for damage to a yacht, the court determined that the motion by the boat owners was properly considered as a motion to modify the award under the Federal Arbitration Act, while the motion by the insurance company sought to enforce the award rather than have it increased as requested by the boat owners. The court denied both motions without prejudice because counsel for both sides had failed to establish the authenticity of their exhibits, to resolve potential hearsay issues, to comply with the original writing rule, and to demonstrate the absence of unfair prejudice to the extent that their exhibits were inadmissible.

In its 101 page opinion, the court dedicated at least 90 pages to providing extensive and detailed analysis and guidance on the interrelated evidentiary issues governing the admissibility of electronically stored evidence (ESI), including: analysis under Rule 104, relevance under Rule 401, authentication as required by Rule 901(a), effect of hearsay as defined by Rule 801 and any applicable exceptions, consideration of the form of the ESI being offered under the original writing rule and the admissibility of any secondary evidence to prove its content, and the probative value of the ESI considering potential unfair prejudice or one of the other factors identified by Rule 403.

The full opinion is available in PDF.

1 comment:

TGlassey said...

This single matter may change US Courts and how they accept digital content.

The ruling has impact on any and all submissions to any branch of the US Government in all matters whether criminal or civil in nature. Especially with regard to relief available to citizens as defined in the Constitution. As such it is my belief that this may be one of the 10 most important rulings in the last 100 years.

For your information, the ruling is currently being tested in the Appellate in Glassey v Amano, Case #06-16758, for which the Appellant asked the Court to affirm the Lorraine v Markel Ruling as a part of the Appellant's Claims for relief from an alleged Bankruptcy Fraud matter the USDC 'dismissed'.

Todd S. Glassey, Appellant/Plaintiff