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RE: Digital camera, legal or not for doc

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If I am not mistaken, the witness has to testify that the photograph 
accurately depicts the actual condition at the time the photograph is made, 
regardless of whether the photo is film or digital.

I am very hesitant to discuss photographs made by others, particularly 
photographs that were made when I was not present, without qualifying it as 
"... the photo appears to ..." depict what I had seen during my visit(s) to 
the project.  I will leave it up to whoever took the photo to testify to the 
date, location, and circumstance in which the photo was taken.  (In one case, 
I was asked to identify the back of the head of my client in a photo, which I 
declined to do.  When I stated that I did not take the photo and was not 
present when the photo was taken, the trial attorney very quickly and quietly 
stopped showing me any more of those photos.)

For the "official" position, why not call the presiding (chief) civil judge 
in your area and ask him/her?  Otherwise all responses on this list would be 
pure speculation, WAG, personal opinions, or perpetuation of the urban 
legend, if it is an urban legend.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

In response to Jeff Fertich's post, Ron Hill wrote:

. > From high profile cases it seems that Camcorders are used in trials with 
. > out any problem and they are digital.  As with any photo, there are a 
. > series of "experts" that seem to show up to verify the photos are 
. > unaltered.  I think that the same methods for verifying conventional 
. > photos can be used in verifying digital photos.

. > Ronald Hill, P.E.
. > HILL Consulting Engineering
. > PO BOX 26525
. > Birmingham, Alabama 35260 USA
. > Phone: 205.823.4784
. > FAX: 205.823.4145
. > Email: ronhill(--nospam--at)
. > Efax: 509.275.8095
. > http:\\

. > -----Original Message-----
. > From: Peieng5590(--nospam--at) [mailto:Peieng5590(--nospam--at)]
. > Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 6:41 AM
. > To: Seaint(--nospam--at)
. > Subject: Digital camera, legal or not for documentaion

. > Is anyone NOT using digital cameras because they might not hold up in 
. > court because they could be altered. I'm not sure if this is a "urban 
. > legend" or if there is some actual concern.

. > Any comments or references to actual laws?

. > Jeff Fertich, P.E.

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