Impeaching a Party with their Old Website


So it may happen in a case that a defender, especially a corporate defendant has made statements on a public forum or website and those statements may contradict or impeach a position they are taking now in a case. How do you 1) access the old version of the website and 2) authenticate it and get the Judge to admit it into evidence?

Old Website Versions

So our friends at the Wayback Machine do one thing and do it well, archive old websites. You can have fun and poke around at very old versions of pretty much any website, even Google! So assume that Company X has stated their safety screening policy for their truck drivers and you want to impeach their safety director with the old standards. Surf over to Wayback, pull the old version of the site and then print it out in hard copy with the web address listed below.


Under Georgia law, the website probably auto qualifies under the business records exception and there are several cases saying that the Wayback machine archives are reliable enough to be admitted into court. St Luke Cataract and Laser Inst., PA vs. Sanderson 573 F3d 1186 1194-95 (11th Cir. 2009) and Perera v. United States, 536 Fed. Appx 240, 242 (3d Cir. 2013)

Happy trials!

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