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Summary Exhibits in Federal District Court (Rule 1006)

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Kridel Blog

When selecting a New Jersey attorney for your complex civil litigation case, it is essential that he or she be well-versed in all of the Federal Rules of Evidence. One such rule provides the procedure by which attorneys must offer summary exhibits in Federal District Court. Failure to adhere to these provisions could prevent necessary evidence from being admitted and, thus, could negatively impact your case.


Under this rule, attorneys are allowed to make use of charts, graphs, and other visual representations of evidence in order to convey complex technical information to the Judge and/or jury. The rule often comes into play when attorneys need to present information comprising hundreds or thousands of pages of documents, or “voluminous writings,” as the rule states. It simply would not make sense for the jury to have to examine the individual records in Court when a summary would suffice.


Case law dealing with the summary exhibit rule has established a minimum of four elements that must be satisfied before the charts or summaries can be admitted into evidence, which include:

  • The summarized records must not otherwise be able to be conveniently analyzed in the courtroom;
  • The summaries must be considered “accurate derivatives” of the underlying records, or accurate compilations by the Court;
  • Evidence presented must itself be admissible in Court, both in summary and its original form;
  • Parties must be able to make the originals or duplicates available for copying or examination, or both, by both parties at a reasonable time and place.


The major mistake many attorneys make when it comes to summary exhibits is using the visual representation to present inadmissible evidence, usually without realizing that it goes beyond what the underlying records communicate. For this reason, it is critical to your case that you choose an attorney who understands the difference between illustrating the actual evidence and enhancing the original information.

Our Firm’s experienced complex civil litigation attorneys in New Jersey are familiar with the nuances of the summary exhibit rule and understand that a flashy chart is worthless if it is thrown out by the Court before the jury ever sees it. Contact the Kridel Law Group today for help.