On Appeal

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In addressing the plaintiff’s failure to authenticate the evidence submitted in connection with his opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the Rhode Island Supreme Court in McGovern v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 2013-184-Appeal, recognized for the first time the “Reply Letter Doctrine,” one of the means by which evidence may be authenticated under the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence. Id. at 10 n.12 (citing Advisory Committee Notes to R.I. R. Evid. 901(b)(4)).

The Reply Letter Doctrine allows “‘a letter [to] be authenticated by content and circumstances indicating it was in reply to a duly authenticated one.’” Id. (quoting Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 901(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Evidence)). For the rule to apply, the proponent of the evidence must “‘prove that the first letter was dated, was duly mailed at a given time and place, and was addressed to [the sender of the reply-letter].’” Id. at 10 n.12 (quoting 2 McCormick on Evidence § 224 at 95 (7th ed. 2013)).

About The Author

Nicole J. Benjamin

I am a shareholder and business litigator at AP&S. I help businesses and their legal departments achieve their objectives by reducing their liabilities, advising them on complex legal matters and defending unavoidable litigation in federal and state court.

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