Suppose Party A & Party B have a disagreement about the terms a contract and Party A presents a contract written in 2010 as evidence against the other party.

Party B presents a different contract written in 2013 which is worded slightly differently and supports his case.

Party A then finds a 3rd contract written in 2016 which matches the one written in 2010.

Is the new contract admissible as evidence court? Suppose the contracts were written over a period of 5-10 years so it is within reason the Party A may have legitimately forgot about the 3rd contract.

Would the court accept the 3rd contract from Party A as evidence? Or would it be rejected on the basis that it conflicts with the first contract presented to the court?

Would it matter whether Party A introduced the original contract during discovery or in court?

  • 1
    The question currently mentions when each version of the contract was written. It does not explicitly say if the various versions were signed or otherwise agreed to by the parties. Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


Everything offered by a party comes into evidence if it is duly authenticated.

A contract not disclosed prior to a pre-trial deadline for doing so, however, might be excluded from evidence for non-disclosure, unless it was offered for impeachment or rebuttal purposes.

  • @ ohwilleke's Thanks! Upvoted. What if the contract from 2010 was used in a prior suit? For example, suppose Party A files a suit against Party B in civil court & Party A submits the contract written in 2010 as evidence. The court dismisses the case based on other reasons (not because of the 2010 contract). Party B files a new lawsuit against Party A & presents the contract from 2013. The only way for Party A to prove his position is via the contract written in 2016. Could Party B prevent Party A from using the new contract since it contradicts with the one submitted in the prior case?
    – S.O.S
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 23:43
  • @S.O.S. It is still evidence that is admissible so long as it is timely disclosed before trial. This may or may not be evidence that convinces the court, but it comes in. If there was a prior suit there are also potential res judicata and collateral estoppel issues but those are beyond the scope of this question. Things that were resolved in previous litigation or could have been resolved in previous litigation usually can't be relitigated in a way that contradicts a prior ruling.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 0:51

Would the court accept the 3rd contract from Party A as evidence? Or would it be rejected on the basis that it conflicts with the first contract presented to the court?

If the contract from year 2016 is rejected as evidence, it would be for belatedness and/or other reasons rather than for not being the one initially filed in court.

In a contract dispute, the most important issue is the timing of alleged breach. That information generally determines which of the contracts governed the parties' relation at that time.

The years you mention suggest that the statute of limitations for breaches prior to year 2016 has expired, though. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for contract claims is six years. See Hagans v. Nickerson, Superior Court of NJ (Oct. 2022), (citing NJSA A:14-1(a)).

For claims arising in year 2016 or later, the contract from 2016 supersedes the [presumably replaced] one from 2013. This precludes the use of the contract from 2013 for deciding the matter at issue. But, as the other answer points out, the governing contract must be filed timely.

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