Legal Memorandum: Use of Office Documents as Testimony in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, can documents put together from office documents be used as testimony?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Testimony; Office documents; Business-records exception
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 358 N.W.2d 409; 346 N.W.2d 178; 157 N.W.2d 849; 400 N.W.2d 140; 297 N.W.2d 260; 309 P.2d 802; 232 N.W.2d 302; 392 N.W.2d 2; 253 N.W.2d 152; 428 S.W.2d 596
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Evid. 803 (24); Minn. R. Evid. 803(6)
Date: 04/01/2001

           The business-records exception in the Minnesota Rules of Evidence reads as follows:

                        Records of Regularly Conducted Business Activity.  A memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, made at or near the time by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge, if kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity, and if it was the regular practice of that business activity to make the memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, all as shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witness, unless the source of information or the method or circumstances of preparation indicate lack of trustworthiness.  The term “business” as used in this paragraph includes business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit.  A memorandum, report, record, or data compilation prepared for litigation is not admissible under this exception.


Minn. R. Evid. 803(6) (emphasis added).

Both the plain terms of the rule and the applicable case law require that the writings be kept in the regular course of a business and that it is a regular practice to keep the record.  […]

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