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monogamy-as-prisoners-dilemma-1.gifWe pride ourselves on the murkiness of our authorial invitation process at VoxPop.  How are authors selected, exactly?  Nobody knows, not even the guy who does the selecting.  We'd like to lift the veil briefly, by asking for volunteers to help us with a particular area we're interested in.

We'd like to run a point-counterpoint style dual entry on the subject of authenticity in legal documents.  Yes, we've treated the issue before.  But just today we were fishing around in obscure corners of the LII's WEX legal dictionary, and we found this definition of the Ancient Document Rule:

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a permissible method to authenticate a document. Under the rule, if if a document is (1) more than 20 years old; (2) is regular on its face with no signs of obvious alterations; and (3) found in a place of natural custody, or in a place where it would be expected to be found, then the document is found to be prima facie authenticated and therefore admissible.

The specific part of FRE involved -- Rule 901 --  is here.

Why would or wouldn't we apply this thinking to large existing document repositories -- such as the backfile of federal documents at GPO?  Is 20 years a reasonable limit?  Should it be 5, or 7?  What does "where found" mean?  We'd like to see two authors -- one pro, one con -- address these questions in side-by-side posts to VoxPop.

Where does the Prisoner's Dilemma come in?  Well... if we get no volunteers, we won't run this.  If we get volunteers on only one side of the issue, we'll run a one-sided piece.  So, it's up to you to decide whether both sides will be heard or not.  The window for volunteering will close on Tuesday; send your requests to the murky selector at { tom -  dot -  bruce - att - cornell - dot - edu }.

We'd also be happy to hear from others who want to write for VoxPop -- the new year is fast approaching, and we need fresh voices.  Speak up!

One Response to “VoxPop poses a Prisoner's Dilemma (sort of)”

  1. [...] » VoxPop poses a Prisoner’s Dilemma (sort of) VoxPopuLII blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/2009/11/20/voxpop-poses-a-prisoners-dilemma-sort-of – view page – cached We pride ourselves on the murkiness of our authorial invitation process at VoxPop. How are authors selected, exactly? Nobody knows, not even the guy who does the selecting. We’d like to lift the... Read moreWe pride ourselves on the murkiness of our authorial invitation process at VoxPop. How are authors selected, exactly? Nobody knows, not even the guy who does the selecting. We’d like to lift the veil briefly, by asking for volunteers to help us with a particular area we’re interested in. Read less [...]

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