Question: True or False? To get a business record admitted into evidence under the business-records exception to the hearsay rule, you must show that the person who made the record is “unavailable as a witness.”
Answer: False. The business-records exception to the hearsay rule does not require a showing that the recorder or person who made the written record is “unavailable as a witness.” Rather, a writing, or a portion of a writing, is admissible under the business-records exception to the hearsay rule if (Evid C §1271):
- The writing was made as a record of an act, condition, or event, and is offered to prove the occurrence of that act, condition, or event;
- The writing was made in the regular course of business;
- The writing was made at or near the time of the occurrence of the act, condition, or event;
- The custodian of the writing, or other qualified witness, testifies to the identity of the writing and the mode of its preparation; and
- The sources of information for the entries contained in the writing, and the method and time of preparation of the writing, were all such as to indicate the writing’s trustworthiness.
For everything you need to know about getting business records admitted into evidence, turn to CEB’s Jefferson’s California Evidence Benchbook, chap 4.
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