The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has made it very clear that lawyers attempting to introduce demonstrative exhibits, including videos, must lay the proper foundation. Great care must be utilized in how this type evidence is prepared, authenticated and presented at trial. Videos that are used to recreate an incident, condition or scene that goes to an issue to be decided by the jury must meet a certain standard. That is, the video must be substantially similar as set out in Barnes v. GM, a previously decided 11th Circuit decision. The trial judge has wide discretion to admit evidence of experiments conducted under substantially similar conditions. The burden is on the offering party to lay a proper foundation. I suggest that all of our readers who are lawyers read the Burchfield v. CSX Transportation decision.
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