RULE 106. REMAINDER OF OR RELATED WRITINGS OR RECORDED STATEMENTS
Whenever a writing or recorded statement or part thereof is introduced by a party, an adverse party may require the introduction at that time of any other part or any other writing or recorded statement which in fairness ought to be considered contemporaneously with it.
Rule 106 is an expression of what Wigmore has termed "the rules of completeness." VII Wigmore on Evidence 2094, et seq. (3d ed. 1940). The rule is not a rule of admissibility, but rather one dealing with order of proof and, as such, may be considered to be but a specific application of the general dictates of Rule 611.
According to the Advisory Committee's note to Rule 106, FRE:
"The rule is based on two considerations. The first is the misleading impression created by taking matters out of context. The second is the inadequacy of repair work when delayed to a point later in the trial." 1 Weinstein's Evidence 106 2.
To avoid these problems, Rule 106 requires that the remainder of or related writings or recordings be admitted at the same time as the principal evidence if the trial court determines, in fairness, that this ought to be done. The standard of fairness gives the trial court wide discretion under this rule, which accords with the powers of a trial court to regulate the mode and order of proof, generally, granted by Rule 611. Thus, the court need not admit all evidence that may be related to the evidence sought to be introduced. Rules of relevancy, and other rules of admissibility, generally, should guide the trial court's decision.
Rule 106 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments are technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
SOURCES: Minutes of Joint Procedure Committee: March 24-25, 1988, page 12; December 3, 1987, page 15; April 8, 1976, page 17; October 1, 1975, page 2. Rule 106, Federal Rules of Evidence; Rule 106, SBAND proposal.
CONSIDERED: Rules 32(a)(4), NDRCivP; Rule 15(e), NDRCrimP.