Can video or oral recordings be used as evidence in court with consent from all parties concerned?

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Can video or oral recordings be used as evidence in court with consent from all parties concerned?

Asked on June 7, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Not necessarily: parties cannot automatically consent to waive the rules of evidence, and such recordings would likely be considered hearsay--though there a number of exceptions to hearsay under which these could potentially be brought in (e.g. to impeach a witness, rather than specifically for the truth of the assertions therein; as a prior admission by a party). A judge would likely look more favorably upon recordings when there was party consent, in evaluating whether, in a given situation, recordings can be used in court, but the final decision as to admissability lies with the judge, who is not bound by the parties' consent.


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