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EVIDENCE - PEPIN MFG., INC. V. ESWALLOW USA, LLC

Pepin Mfg., Inc. v. ESwallow USA, LLC, [Ms. 2140406, Oct. 2, 2015] __ So.3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2015). The Court of Civil Appeals reverses a judgment for the defendant in an action on a promissory note. The circuit court excluded the copy of the promissory note, sustaining defendants’ objection that it was not the original. The Court of Civil Appeals, relying on Rule 1003, Ala. R. Evid., holds that the circuit court exceeded its discretion in excluding the copy. “The defendants did not raise any ‘genuine question ... as to the authenticity of the original’ or otherwise assert that ‘in the circumstances it would be unfair to admit the duplicate in lieu of the original,’” the two grounds under which a copy can be excluded under Rule 1003. Because the promissory note was the entire basis of the plaintiff’s action, the exclusion of it from evidence was reversible error.

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