RULE 1006. SUMMARIES
The contents of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs which cannot conveniently be examined in court may be presented in the form of a chart, summary, or calculation. The originals, or duplicates, shall be made available for examination or copying, or both, by other parties at a reasonable time and place. The court may order that they be produced in court.
The admissibility of summaries of voluminous writings over the objection that such summaries are not the "best evidence" has long been permitted in North Dakota. See Wishek v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 55 N.D. 321, 213 N.W. 488 (1927). Rule 1006 continues this rule of convenience and expands it to include summaries of recordings and photographs.
It is a condition precedent to the invocation of the rule that the component parts of the summary be made available for examination or copying. This is intended to give the party against whom the summary is offered a chance to analyze the underlying data and prepare any challenges to the summary he may wish to make. The court may direct that the original writings be produced at trial. This would be necessary, for example, should the opposing party wish to introduce the originals in an attack on the accuracy of the summary.
Rule 1006 does not permit the admissibility of summaries where the individual writings are themselves inadmissible. For example, where the original documents contain hearsay, summarizing the documents will not cure the hearsay objection.
It should be noted that not all summaries will come within the scope of Rule 1006. Computer printouts, which are summaries of stored data, are themselves originals. See Rule 1001(3). Summaries of absent originals may be admitted under Rules 1004 or 1005 without reference to Rule 1006. 5 Weinstein's Evidence 1006(05) (1975).
SOURCES: Minutes of Joint Procedure Committee: January 29, 1976, page 16. Rule 1006, Federal Rules of Evidence; Rule 1006, SBAND proposal.