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Leveraging Federal Rule of Evidence 1006: Using Summaries to Prove the Content of Voluminous Documents

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 Thursday, August 26, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide counsel on correctly using and applying Federal Rule of Evidence 1006 (and state counterparts) to admit summaries, charts, or calculations and prove the content of documents that are too "voluminous" to be conveniently viewed in court. The program will highlight some unusual applications of Rule 1006 and what some may consider abuse.


Summaries of medical bills, work logs, telephone calls, GPS location histories, photographs, bank deposits, withdrawals, etc., are allowed under Rule 1006. The summary is admissible only if the underlying documents are admissible. The proponent must demonstrate that the summary accurately reflects the documents' contents and make the other parties' underlying originals available for examination and copying.

As straightforward as the rule seems, confusion abounds. Some courts have held that Rule 1006 summaries are not evidence; others will not admit summaries unless all underlying documents have been actually admitted; and some courts, if the underlying records have been admitted into evidence, will exclude the summaries. Many courts and litigants incorrectly apply the rules for demonstrative exhibits in Rule 611 to Rule 1006.

Significant problems arise over the requirement that the summaries must accurately and truly reflect the content of the underlying material. Some object that summaries must not contain assumptions, conclusions, and arguments, but others suggest that Rule 1006 does not require objectivity. Occasionally, multiple, conflicting summaries are admitted. Inadmissible reports or hearsay have been known to find their way into evidence via Rule 1006. Counsel opposing the summary must be vigilant and proactive.

Listen as this experienced panel of litigators clarifies the confusion about how Rule 1006 works, jurisdictional differences, creative uses, and best strategies for dealing with summaries.



  1. Requirements of Rule 1006
    1. Defining voluminous
    2. Assessing whether originals have been made available to other parties
  2. Rule 1006 summaries are not governed by Rule 611
  3. Admissibility positions
    1. Summaries admissible in lieu of admitting the voluminous material
    2. Summaries admissible only after admitting the voluminous material
    3. Summaries not admissible if voluminous material admitted
  4. Summaries containing assumptions, conclusions and arguments
  5. Testimonial summaries


The panel will review these and other pivotal issues:

  • What is the basis for confusion about Rule 1006?
  • What are practical uses for Rule 1006 summaries?
  • How does counsel object to the use of summaries?
  • Can inadmissible testimony be introduced under the guise of a summary or opinion testimony?
  • What does "in court" mean in the era of remote trials?


Bever, Thomas
Thomas D. Bever

Smith Gambrell & Russell

Mr. Bever is focused primarily on White Collar criminal defense, representing individual and corporate clients in all...  |  Read More

Cochran, Anthony
Anthony L. Cochran

Smith Gambrell & Russell

Mr. Cochran represents individuals and businesses in a wide variety of matters. He has tried jury trials, bench trials,...  |  Read More

McCarthy, John G.
John G. McCarthy

Smith Gambrell & Russell

Mr. McCarthy is a Partner in the Litigation Practice in the Firm’s New York office, a member of the Firm’s...  |  Read More

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