January 2019 New York CPLR and Evidence Update

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New York CPLR and Evidence Update

January 8, 2019 – Governor Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow satellite-mapping services, such as Google Maps, MapQuest, Google Earth, etc., to be admitted into evidence at trial.  The law will increase the court’s access to critical information/evidence and reduce costs of litigants at trial.  The law will take effect immediately and will be amended slightly with technical changes after the expected passage of a chapter amendment in the upcoming legislative session, which begins tomorrow, January 9, 2019.

This law will relieve a litigant of their obligation to call an expert witness to authenticate the validity of an image or calculation generated by Google Maps.  Prior to passage of this law a litigant would need an expert witness to lay the foundation necessary to admit this evidence at trial.  In Federal Court, judicial notice is taken of Google Maps as a source that “can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned” pursuant to Rule 201 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.  In short, the evidence is credible and its veracity is not in question while being readily available to the Court and litigants for inspection.  This change to the CPLR 4511 will allow litigation to proceed in a faster and more cost-effective way and will help accelerate the resolution of litigation.

This is another example of the law catching up to technology and we expect to see more and more of this as technological gains are made and the desire to reduce costs of litigation remains strong.  To see the full Bill please click here.