National Paralegal Inst. Coalition - Page 10

          2004, letter, however, is an implicit, if not overt,                          
          acknowledgment of petitioner’s receipt of the disputed letter,                
          belying its contention to the contrary.                                       
               Our finding presuming delivery of the disputed letter is                 
          based on an extension of the knowledge principle, which underlies             
          rule 901(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Evidence and the related               
          so-called reply letter doctrine, to this circumstance.  See                   
          generally John W. Strong et al., McCormick on Evidence, sec. 225              
          (5th ed. 1999).  Rule 901(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Evidence              
          provides for the authentication of a written document if its                  
          substance, content, or other distinctive characteristics,                     
          analyzed in conjunction with other circumstantial evidence, is                
          indicative of authorship.  One application of such general method             
          of authentication is the reply letter doctrine, which was relied              
          on in Winel v. United States, 365 F.2d 646, 648 (8th Cir. 1966),              
          in holding:  “It has long been recognized that one of the                     
          principal situations where the authenticity of a letter is                    
          provable by circumstantial evidence * * * is where it can be                  
          shown that the letter was sent in reply to a previous                         
          communication.  * * * In the instant case the inherent nature of              
          the communication makes it absolutely certain that it is a reply              
          communication.”  See also United States v. Henry, 164 F.3d 1304,              
          1309 (10th Cir. 1999); Purer & Co. v. Aktiebolaget Addo, 410 F.2d             
          871, 875 (9th Cir. 1969).                                                     

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