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LCG Directors and forensic experts, Andrew Frisbie and Kris Carlson presented to about 80 litigators in December on the topic of Data Spoliation: Intervention and Ethical Obligation. During the presentation they outlined a simple five-step process, based on a series of questions, for attorneys to use for the purpose of mitigating the loss of potentially relevant digital evidence. The five critical questions to ask are:

  1. What is the allegation?
  2. Who is involved?
  3. What is the risk of data loss?
  4. When is the risk of data loss?
  5. How do I preserve this data?

It is critical that attorneys develop a basic knowledge of how and where data is stored and what steps they can take early on in a matter to ensure that data is not lost. Increasingly, LCG receives computers and cell phones that have been altered in some fashion by the people who need an accurate, reliable assessment of past activity from these same devices. With good intentions, these devices are-assigned to other employees or otherwise re-purposed within the organization. The “new” custodians innocently interact with the device, which causes potentially significant data to become modified.

If you find yourself in a situation that may involve digital evidence, call us FIRST and we’ll tell you how to preserve the data or advise you on how best to prevent data loss. Basic knowledge and early intervention will result in better service to your clients.