Any ideas for presenting email in court?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by PatrickBettens, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. PatrickBettens macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Concord, New Hampshire
    #1
    I use apples mail client for my comcast email. I need to present saved emails from the past two years in court. But I find saved email is often very confusing to follow with the last message always shown first. Which helps in reading, but if the conversation is being looked at by new eyes it's difficult to follow. Are there any good ideas out there in this area?
     
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    I imagine that the court officials reading your emails are quite aware that reading an email string requires starting at the end and working to the beginning. I wouldn't worry too much about it, the messages are dated after all.

    If you start editing the email to put it "in order" it smacks a bit of altering evidence.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I agree with darth.titan.

    Print out the emails as is and don't touch them. Trying to make it easier for the court officials will actually work against you.

    Also print out everything, don't pick and choose, you're better off making sure you have more information to present then too little.
     
  4. PatrickBettens thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Concord, New Hampshire
    #4
    I agree

    Your logic is dead on, I would not alter original email. I'm trying to present in interrogatories, copies of conversation. So I thought it would be easier to change the emails separately to read them logically. While also providing originals. So my question did not include the entire logic here. But the question still remains!
     
  5. t0rr3s macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #5
    Also ensure all naughty bits and piccies are given the purge!
     
  6. JemmieL macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    #6
    Just print it and don't change anything. Or you may switch to a more easy mail client and then print all the emails.
     
  7. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #7
    In court, as well as at video depositions, emails are most often presented by lawyers in a greatly enlarged format printed on foam board. FedEx Office offers this service, among others. The emails are generally presented seriatim in chronological order. Normally the lawyer offering the exhibits will have previously shown the emails in original format to opposing counsel (either in a pre-trial hearing or conference) to dispense with any questions of authenticity. Most Federal District Court trial judges will have dealt with all these issues before trial so a jury doesn't have to be concerned or distracted by evidentiary technicalities.

    Unless there is some real question about the reliability of the emails, I'd recommend that you present them in whatever way seems to you to best make whatever point you may have, and just deal with the evidentiary issues if anyone raises a question. Of course, if you are simply producing the emails to comply with a discovery request, just printing out the thread as others have suggested is all you need to do. If you are the party propounding interrogatories which inquire about the authenticity, authorship, or other facts related to the emails, then I would suggest presenting each communication individually to have the best chance of avoiding evasive responses focusing on technical issues.
     
  8. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68020

    OldSchoolMacGuy

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #8
    Seems a bit strange that they'd have you print them out rather than having a computer forensic or eDiscovery expert analyze and submit them.
     
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #9
    Especially since it would be so easy to falsify the contents, dates, &c.
     
  10. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68020

    OldSchoolMacGuy

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #10
    Exactly why that kind of evidence is usually presented by someone with investigative credentials.
     
  11. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #11
    I'd assume this is for small claims court of some type. No one needs to put out that much effort or expense for something like an expert investigator for that. If it's for criminal court, absolutely it should be done by an expert, and also for a civil claim that was much bigger. I could be wrong, in which case the OP would want to rethink, but I suspect what he's planning is probably appropriate in the situation.

    jW
     
  12. PatrickBettens thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Concord, New Hampshire
    #12
    Aggg

    Family court! So no good thoughts? Me either...
    I was just thinking that presenting the mail in a more logical way would be more impactful.

    Ps - I have no reason to change/tamper with email, they support me.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Unless the other litigant has rolled-over and is now playing dead, then you had better get that notion out of your head. She will claim that the emails so strongly support you because you altered them.

    I agree with everything that everyone has already said. However, it seems to me that you should leave this to your attorney or to a member of your attorney's staff.

    I also recommend that you ask you questions about evidence of your attorney. That is why you pay your legal fees.
     
  14. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Not sure if I am reading it wrong but why not just turn conversation view off?
     
  15. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #15
    If this is a reply to interrogatories or a Notice to Produce in some state Family Court where you are not represented by counsel, then I would present the emails verbatim in any order you like, as long as you leave none out. In this context it isn't your obligation to establish the authenticity of the emails, other than by your swearing, by certifying the responses, that the information you are submitting is true. At some point your adversary may want to argue that they are inaccurate or incomplete, and I would imagine that your state's discovery process allows you to ask the other side to admit to the authenticity of the emails, or to produce any evidence they may have that the emails are false. I'm sure you also have the right to ask that the other side (or any other recipients or authors of any of the emails in the thread) produce any emails that they may have.

    I really hope that this issue turns out the be the most difficult one you have to face during this proceeding.

    For right now, just put the emails in chronological order, oldest first, as that is the natural way to read them. You ought to preserve the original emails on your hard drive if you can, just in case there is an evidentiary issue that is important enough to warrant somebody hiring an expert.

    I also have to add that I would strongly agree with the poster who suggested you follow your lawyer's advice, but I'm guessing you must be representing yourself, that you're aware of the benefits of being represented by competent counsel, and have made an informed decision.
     

Share This Page