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  • Technical Question re: Authenticating Emails

    If provided a request to admit to authenticate emails, how or what would you do if the emails that you were provided have large parts blacked out? It appears as though some of the email thread was shared with other recipients, and contents those contents, names, etc. are blacked out.

    Some emails do not even include us as they were sent between the other party and another individual. So how do we authenticate an email that we never even were part of or received? I guess we could go to that person and ask but I don't think that is appropriate given we've never even seen it.

    Lastly, almost every email has hand written comments on them from the other part. The comments say things that are supposed to establish blame, responsibility of certain actions or inactions. For instance, hand written comments on an email could say "he never responded" or "actually he never even showed up for his access"...

    The issue is that the request to admit form says "where the document claims to be a copy of a letter, fax, electronic-mail message or OTHER document ordinarily sent form one person to another, that it was sent AS IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN SENT AND RECEIVED by the person to whom it was addressed". So I'm concerned that if we authenticate the emails with the hand writing on them then we could be agreeing to the handwritten notes as well?

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Shouldn't it be up to the person who provided them to authenticate?

    For the emails you did received, you should be able to read the blacked out areas.

    Comment


    • #3
      Paris, we aren't sure if we should even attempt to authenticate what we do see on the emails as much of them is blacked out. And/or if we should just say we cannot authenticate. Hoping others have experience with this and can assist us.

      Comment


      • #4
        How did you come into posession of these emails with sections blacked out? Were they served to you before, or did a third party print them and give them to you? Not entirely clear - maybe a bit more info as to how you came about this evidence.

        Comment


        • #5
          We were served them in a Request to Admit. The other party obviously provided them to their lawyer and they were served to us to authenticate.

          In fact, the entire form is a little bit wanky. You are supposed to describe each document and identify it by date, type of document, auther, name of person to whom it was sent, etc. The just put that it was an email, its date and the subject line if any.

          In fact, we can't even make sense of the request to admit. It is very poorly done. Some of the descriptions of the emails are not clear as it says emails between XX and YY on such and such a date, and yet there is clearly emails between other people in there that are blacked out within the thread. So even the description itself is wrong. This causes us concern as there are a lot of games being played on the other side and we are worried about authenticating these, especially given all the above information.

          Comment


          • #6
            In your response, using Form 22A, you will address every "fact" line by line, and every piece of evidence, line by line. I assume you have the form in front of you.

            The line numbers you do admit, enter in the appropriate spots where it asks you.

            The ones you do not - explain why not, as the form provides a section for this purpose exactly.

            Are any of the emails not addressed to you directly, but instead are third party? State you cannot authenticate due to that reason.

            The emails that are partially blacked out - does it explain on their request to admit why they are blacked out? If it is because of legal privilege, they are entitled to black it out, but that should be explained in their Request. You can refuse to authenticate because you cannot read the entire content of the email.

            Just be careful that you aren't objecting just for the sake of it, and it is regarding something relevant.

            The emails that have been written on - maybe try saying you will not authenticate because document has improperly had additional evidence added to it that should have been done through affidavit. Insist on an original document.

            Do you have unaltered copies of any of these documents? Serve them in your request instead. Mention that in your reply - see line # XX of applicant/respondent's request to admit dated (date XX)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              In your response, using Form 22A, you will address every "fact" line by line, and every piece of evidence, line by line. I assume you have the form in front of you.
              There are no facts in this request to admit. Just the emails.


              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              The ones you do not - explain why not, as the form provides a section for this purpose exactly.
              I guess we don't necessarily understand how to word our response as to why we can't admit... and we want to be sure we aren't being unreasonable.

              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              Are any of the emails not addressed to you directly, but instead are third party? State you cannot authenticate due to that reason.
              Yes, some emails are between the other party and a third party and do not even include us.

              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              The emails that are partially blacked out - does it explain on their request to admit why they are blacked out? If it is because of legal privilege, they are entitled to black it out, but that should be explained in their Request. You can refuse to authenticate because you cannot read the entire content of the email.
              No explanation is provided. Just parts of the emails are blacked out. Their forms were poorly completed. Times and dates of emails, and to whom the emails were from and to are not completed accurately or at all. So would we just say "cannot admit, cannot read entire content of email"?

              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              Just be careful that you aren't objecting just for the sake of it, and it is regarding something relevant.
              I can't even see the relevancy in some of the emails. Nor can I figure out how these could even be useful to the other party's side to be honest.

              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              The emails that have been written on - maybe try saying you will not authenticate because document has improperly had additional evidence added to it that should have been done through affidavit. Insist on an original document.
              Good advice!

              Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
              Do you have unaltered copies of any of these documents? Serve them in your request instead. Mention that in your reply - see line # XX of applicant/respondent's request to admit dated (date XX)
              I'd rather not do their work for them. If they want to serve an additional request to admit they can. There is time.


              Last question: I note that some of the emails are not the entire thread in their entirety. Meaning, our last response is not included but was definitely available when the request to admit was provided. I believe this was intentional. Anything we could do or add or state in our response with regards to this?
              Last edited by Mess; 12-04-2013, 09:22 AM. Reason: To fix quotes

              Comment


              • #8
                If parts are blocked out then you might say you can't admit to the authenticity of the emails due to the blocked out portions i.e. you don't know the overall context of the emails.

                Given the details of each email document is not listed I would be careful what you admit to as it opens up the door to what the other side is or is not going to admit into court.

                The rules of evidence are very specific going to trial.

                You should have a list of every document the other side is going to use listed. If I were you only address the specific ones they have listed. In your response simply state the rest will be ignored as they were "missing" from the list. This might make them be more precise in their Request to Admit. They're going fishing on you to see how much you will spill in your response. Make them work for it which might also reveal to you where they are going with it all.

                Also you shouldn't comment on any material you were not a party to.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Serene View Post
                  Last question: I note that some of the emails are not the entire thread in their entirety. Meaning, our last response is not included but was definitely available when the request to admit was provided. I believe this was intentional. Anything we could do or add or state in our response with regards to this?
                  You could respond to this by stating that you can not authenticate the email thread because you believe that the thread is not complete in it's entirety, and as a result you can't comment on wither the email provided is a complete and accurate copy of the email thread.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A conversation thread in an email can be hard to follow with answer/replies with some being backtracked in the thread.

                    I'd be asking for the non-threaded email as well, hence it would easier to organize all the documents chronologically which would also help to identify any offshoots / interjections to or by a third party.
                    Last edited by limer; 11-18-2013, 02:29 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree. Chronological order is much easier to follow than using threads. Don't risk confusing or frustrating the judge with threads, if you can help it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ByMyself View Post
                        I agree. Chronological order is much easier to follow than using threads. Don't risk confusing or frustrating the judge with threads, if you can help it.
                        That's easier said than done. I have gmail and even though I've turned off the 'threading' functionality, emails are still not independent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HappyMomma View Post
                          That's easier said than done. I have gmail and even though I've turned off the 'threading' functionality, emails are still not independent.
                          One could then flow chart the e-mails to show their relationships.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One thing I would clarify in the above thread: If the other party is putting together poorly organized or identified documents in their requests to admit, I don't think it is our responsibility to then produce the original documents and serve upon them. The other party needs to get their stuff together and serve it properly. To correct or produce their documents means that we would be assisting the other side and promoting their cause. There simply is not reason to do that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I put the suggestion across with the assumption that the improved clarity could help your case.

                              If their emails are incomplete/ blacked out, and the remainder of the email hurts your case - absolutely make them product the originals, and request written reasons why they refuse to, if that happens.

                              If they have left out parts that help your case - you producing the complete original shows they may have been hiding something/ misleading the court. You can't use your complete version as proof of that unless you serve it in your request.

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