Spreadsheets = Hearsay. Davies v State.


Brief Brief: Davies v State 198 Md App 400 (2010)

MD Rule 5-1006

Issue:  If a party seeks to present voluminous data in a more convenient form for trial (in this case, a spreadsheet of stolen property); it must make the materials used to compile the spreadsheet available to opposing counsel.  See Generally Id.

Background: Defendant was convicted by jury of several theft charges from his former employer.  At trial, State offered into evidence, over Defense objection, a spreadsheet of the stolen property where the Defense was not permitted to view or subpoena the creator of the underlying data used to compile the spreadsheet. The Court of Special Appeals held that: 1 State’s exhibit, should not have been admitted because it did not satisfy evidence rule MD 5-1006; and 2 circuit court abused its discretion in quashing defendant’s subpoena of records of his employer because, by doing so, court denied defendant access to documents which related to employer’s potential motive against him.  See Generally Id.


“The decision to admit evidence is ordinarily left to the circuit court’s sound discretion. Bern–Shaw Limited Partnership v. Baltimore, 377 Md. 277, 291, 833 A.2d 502 (2003). Nevertheless, if the circuit court’s “ruling involves a pure legal question, we generally review the court’s ruling de novo.” Id. Accord Hall v. UMMS, 398 Md. 67, 82–83, 919 A.2d 1177 (2007);J.L. Matthews, Inc. v. Park & Planning, 368 Md. 71, 92–93, 792 A.2d 288 (2002). Statutory interpretation and the admission of hearsay are legal questions subject to de novo review. As the Court of Appeals explained in Bernadyn v. State, 390 Md. 1, 7–8, 887 A.2d 602 (2005)” .Id. at 410

“Similarly, in a criminal trial, the court has no discretion to admit ‘testimonial evidence’ that would violate the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights under the Confrontation Clause. Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 68, 124 S.Ct. 1354, 1374, 158 L.Ed.2d 177 (2004)” Id. at 411

“the party seeking to introduce the summary is required to make the underlying documents available for inspection and copying by the other party at a “reasonable time and place.” Mattvidi v. NationsBank, 100 Md.App. 71, 88–89, 639 A.2d 228 (1994)” Id. at 412

“The right to compulsory process under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights includes the right to subpoena admissible evidence. Wilson v. State, 345 Md. 437, 450, 693 A.2d 344 (1997). . .  In Martin v. State, 364 Md. 692, 698, 775 A.2d 385 (2001), the Court of Appeals explained that a criminal defendant’s right to impeach a witness concerning possible interest, bias, or motive to lie has its roots in both the federal constitution, and Maryland Declaration of Rights. Davies’s ability to impeach the witnesses against him by offering evidence to show that he had criticized the witnesses was unduly limited by the court’s quashing of the subpoena. The circuit court abused its discretion in denying Davies access to these documents which relate to the Church’s potential motive to make criminal accusations against him.” Id. at 419-420 

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