Evidence: Real Evidence

Real Evidence – (or demonstrative evidence) actual physical evidence displayed to the trier of fact. It may be direct, circumstantial, original, or demonstrative. Ex: drugs and guns in a criminal case; the offending product in a products liability case.

  • Authentication of real evidence: The party seeking to introduce the real evidence must introduce sufficient evidence that the item is what the party claims it to be (this is called laying a foundation) by:
    • Testimony of a witness that she recognizes the object [Personal knowledge].
    • Evidence that the object has been held in a substantially unbroken chain of possession.
  • Condition of object: If the condition of the object is significant, it must be shown to be in substantially the same condition at trial.