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General Laws

Section 78. An entry in an account kept in a book or by a card system or by any other system of keeping accounts, or a writing or record, whether in the form of an entry in a book or otherwise, made as a memorandum or record of any act, transaction, occurrence or event, shall not be inadmissible in any civil or criminal proceeding as evidence of the facts therein stated because it is transcribed or because it is hearsay or self-serving, if the court finds that the entry, writing or record was made in good faith in the regular course of business and before the beginning of the civil or criminal proceeding aforesaid and that it was the regular course of such business to make such memorandum or record at the time of such act, transaction, occurrence or event or within a reasonable time thereafter. For the purposes hereof, the word “business”, in addition to its ordinary meaning, shall include profession, occupation and calling of every kind. The court, in its discretion, before admitting such entry, writing or record in evidence, may, to such extent as it deems practicable or desirable, but to no greater extent than the law required before April eleventh, nineteen hundred and thirteen, require the party offering the same to produce and offer in evidence the original entry, writing, document or account or any other from which the entry, writing or record offered or the facts therein stated were transcribed or taken, and to call as his witness any person who made the entry, writing or record offered or the original or any other entry, writing, document or account from which the entry, writing or record offered or the facts therein stated were transcribed or taken, or who has personal knowledge of the facts stated in the entry, writing or record offered. When any such entry, writing or record is admitted, all other circumstances of the making thereof, including lack of personal knowledge by the entrant or maker, may be shown to affect its weight and when such entry, writing or record is admitted in a criminal proceeding all questions of fact which must be determined by the court as the basis for the admissibility of the evidence involved shall be submitted to the jury, if a jury trial is had for its final determination.

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