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BUSINESS CRIMES BULLETIN

June 2006

New Rules for Electronic Records?

By David F. Axelrod

A recent decision by a Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel rejected the prevailing standard for authenticating electronically stored records and imposed stringent requirements that may help defend against computerized evidence in a broad range of cases, including white-collar prosecutions. In re: Vinhnee, 2005 WL 3609376 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Dec. 16, 2005). Although decisions of the Panel, which consists of three bankruptcy judges, are binding precedent only for bankruptcy courts in the Ninth Circuit, Vinhnee’s persuasive analysis has the potential to change the use of electronic evidence in other courts.

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