Lorraine v. Markel: An Authoritative Opinion Sets the Bar for Admissibility of Electronic Evidence (Except for Computer Animations and Simulations)

June 16, 2012

Lorraine v. Markel may have a profound impact on the world of electronic evidence admissibility for its guidance to lawyers, but in the area of computer animations and simulations, it carries a mixed message. The opinion takes a progressive approach to the unfair prejudice standard, granting broad discretion to courts to admit computer animation and simulation into evidence. However, the opinion takes a conservative approach to the treatment of computer simulations as scientific evidence. Lorraine’s real effect is yet to be seen, but its on-the-fence approach to computer animations and simulations may cause confusion. Lawyers should therefore use extra caution in meeting all relevant standards when introducing these forms of evidence.