We dropped a new summary video of an exception to the hearsay rule known as the rule about “Ancient Documents.” It is found in Federal Rule of Evidence 803 (16). Please recall that ‘‘Hearsay’’ refers to a statement that is not made while testifying at the current trial or hearing and is offered into evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. A ‘‘statement’’ is what a person said or wrote but also includes nonverbal conduct, if the person intended the conduct as an assertion. The General Rule is that Hearsay statements are not admissible in court.

One exception to this rule says that Statements made in “ancient documents” are not hearsay.

Specifically, a statement contained in a document that was prepared before January 1, 1998, and whose authenticity is established, is not hearsay.

Pro tip:

Ancient documents are frequently authenticated using Rule 901(8) by providing evidence the document:

(A) is in a condition that creates no suspicion about its


(B) was in a place where, if authentic, it would likely be; and

(C) is at least 20 years old when offered.

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