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FRE 902(13) and (14): Self-Authentication of ESI, Best Practices From 2021 Sedona Commentary on Admissibility

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course 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 avoiding unexpected stumbling blocks when obtaining the necessary certifications for self-authentication. The program will also review the 2021 Sedona Conference Commentary on ESI Evidence and Admissibility to be released in 2021 as it applies to FRE 902.


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 efficiently authenticating 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.

All litigators should know what this certification requires and who is qualified to provide it. There may also be times to challenge certification. State courts have begun passing their own versions of these rules and how to get the 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
  5. The "Sedona Conference Commentary on ESI Evidence and Admissibility, Second Edition"


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 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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