Getting metadata admitted at trial: the Imwinkelried factors

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The standards for admitting metadata have yet to be codified. If you are trying to get metadata admitted, you should develop the following factors articulated by Edward Edward J. Imwinkelried, a UC Davis law professor and noted evidence expert. In re Vee Vinhnee, 336 B.R. 437 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2005) held that these factors (with some clarification of the fourth factor) are the grounds for metadata admissibility. Since this may be a new issue for some courts, a motion in limine raising the issue for early discussion is also wise.

The Imwinkelreid factors:

  1. The business uses a computer.
  2. The computer is reliable.
  3. The business has developed a procedure for inserting data into the computer.
  4. The procedure has built-in safeguards to ensure accuracy and identify errors.
  5. The business keeps the computer in a good state of repair.
  6. The witness had the computer readout certain data.
  7. The witness used the proper procedures to obtain the readout.
  8. The computer was in working order at the time the witness obtained the readout.
  9. The witness recognizes the exhibit as the readout.
  10. The witness explains how he or she recognizes the readout.
  11. If the readout contains strange symbols or terms, the witness explains the meaning of the symbols or terms for the trier of fact.

Tuck this away for PMK and IT depositions as well as for requests for admissions.