Doctrine of Optional Completeness Law and Legal Definition

Doctrine of Optional Completeness is an evidentiary rule providing that when a party introduces part of writing or an utterance at trial, the opposing party may require that the remainder of the passage be read to establish the full context. However no irrelevant utterances can be received under this rule. Further, the remainder of the utterance must explain the first part. In many jurisdictions, the rule applies to conversations, to an opponent's admissions, to confessions, and to all other types of writings. However under federal law it is limited to writings or recorded statements.

The following is an example of a Federal Statute on the topic:

USCS Fed Rules Evid R 106 Remainder of or Related Writings or Recorded Statements.

When a writing or recorded statement or part thereof is introduced by a party, an adverse party may require the introduction at that time of any other part or any other writing or recorded statement which ought in fairness to be considered contemporaneously with it.