Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Certified AT&T Records Properly Admitted As Business Records

U.S. v. Jenkins, 2014 WL 43998 (1/7/14) (Wyo) (unpub'd) - The certification from the AT&T records custodian, who did not appear at trial, was an adequate foundation for the admission of AT&T records indicating Mr. Jenkins' threatening calls were made through an out-of-state cell tower. The records were business records under Fed. R. Evid. 803(6) and were properly authenticated under Fed. R. Evid. 902(11). It didn't matter whether the agent through whom the records were introduced wasn't qualified to talk about the authenticity of the records. The certification accomplished that goal. It was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to allow Mr. Jenkins to ask limited follow-up questions after his lawyer finished direct or cross examinations. Although there was no right to hybrid representation, a d.ct. could allow it. The d.ct.'s "meticulous and exhaustive" discussion on the record established that Mr. Jenkins voluntarily and intelligently elected to represent himself for those brief moments. While Mr. Jenkins' pro se efforts "did him no favors with the jury," it did not cause the jury to be irrationally prejudiced against him.