Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Email Authenticated by Distinctive Characteristics, Including “@”

From Wireless Networks, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95696 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 17, 2008):

Plaintiff objects to the admissibility of e-mails contained in the Declaration of Jessica La Londe at exhibit E as lacking authenticity. First, Plaintiff does not dispute the authenticity of any e-mails there were sent by Plaintiff. Second, the remaining e-mails are authenticated because of their distinctive characteristics. See FRE 901(b)(4) (authentication by "appearance, contents, substance, internal patterns, or other distinctive characteristics, taken in conjunction with circumstances."); see also, e.g., United States v. Safavian, 435 F. Supp. 2d 36, 40 (D. D.C. 2006) ("The e-mails in question have many distinctive characteristics, including the actual e-mail addresses containing the "@" symbol, widely known to be part of an e-mail address, and certainly a distinctive mark that identifies the document in question as an e-mail. In addition, most of the e-mail addresses themselves contain the name of the person connected to the address, such as "," "David.Safavian@," or "david.safavian" See, e.g., Exhibits 101, 105, 106. Frequently these e-mails contain the name of the sender or recipient in the bodies of the e-mail, in the signature blocks at the end of the e-mail, in the "To:" and "From:" headings, and by signature of the sender. The contents of the e-mails also authenticate them as being from the purported sender and to the purported recipient, containing as they do discussions of various identifiable matters, such as Mr. Safavian's work at the General Services Administration ("GSA"), Mr. Abramoff's work as a lobbyist, Mr. Abramoff's restaurant, Signatures, and various other personal and professional matters.") (internal citations omitted). Plaintiff's objection based on authenticity is overruled.

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