FRE 902(13) and (14): Authenticating ESI as Admissible Via Self-Authentication and Certification

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide litigators in using Federal Rules of Evidence 902(13) and (14) to have records derived from electronic sources admitted into evidence. The panel will discuss the scope of the rules, state analogs, and how to avoid unexpected stumbling blocks when obtaining the necessary certifications for self-authentication.


Virtually all records used to prove or defend claims are now in digital form: created, stored, and accessed electronically. For the longest time, attorneys and judges grappled with how to efficiently authenticate electronically stored information (ESI) without the need to haul into court multiple foundational witnesses, including forensic experts.

Federal Rules of Evidence 902 (13) and (14) now allow two more categories of ESI to "self-authenticate,” if certain conditions are met. A qualified person must certify that the record was generated by an electronic process or system that produces an accurate result, or that the record was copied from such an electronic device, storage medium, or file.

What this certification requires and who is qualified to provide it are questions all litigators should know how to answer. There may also be times to challenge certification. State courts have begun passing their own versions of these rules, and how to get certification of ESI produced by third parties may be problematic.

Listen as our experienced panel discusses applying FRE 902(13) and (14) to admit ESI at trial, practical tips for certification, and examples of relevant documents. The panelists will discuss the scope of the rules and offer best practices for ensuring that ESI is admissible.



  1. Overview of Federal Rules of Evidence 902(13) and (14)
  2. Purpose and scope of rules
  3. Evidence subject to Rules 902(13) and (14)
  4. Best practices for self-authentication and admissibility of ESI


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What types of evidence are subject to FRE 902(13) and (14)?
  • Who is qualified to authenticate that ESI offered in evidence is identical to the original source?
  • What are forensically sound methods to support the authentication of ESI to a judge and opposing parties?
  • What are common admissibility disputes over ESI that arise in litigation?
  • When do records qualify as self-authenticating under FRE 902(13) and (14)?


Cohen, David
David R. Cohen

Reed Smith

Mr. Cohen is the chair of the firm’s Records & E-Discovery Group. He has 30 years of commercial litigation...  |  Read More

Wilenchik, Dennis
Dennis I. Wilenchik

Wilenchik & Bartness

Mr. Wilenchik's practice focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on real estate and business, and he is a...  |  Read More

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