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Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Home Away From Home: Northern District of Texas Allows for Hotel Manager to Authenticate Photo

Federal Rule of Evidence 901(b)(1) allows for authentication through

Testimony that an item is what it is claimed to be.

In the case of photographs, what this means is that there can be authentication by anyone with personal knowledge of the location/object that was photographed. For an example, consider the following hypothetical:

Hypothetical: Bryan Hooper slips and falls in the lobby of a Marriott Courtyard hotel in Cleveland. Hooper sues the hotel for negligence, and the hotel seeks to introduce a photograph of the lobby from after the accident. Marriott does not call the photographer but instead has Shane Frownfelter, the manager of the Marriott, testify “that the photo reflected how the mats would have been at the time of the incident based upon his presence at the scene.” Was there proper authentication? See Hooper v. Marriott Intern., Inc., 2013 WL 5786294 (N.D.Tex. 2013).

The answer, of course, is "yes."

-CM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2014/01/federal-rule-of-evidence-901b1allows-for-authentication-through-testimony-that-an-item-is-what-it-is-claimed-to-be.html

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