Why Does Data Need to be Forensically Collected?

The collection of data in a forensically sound manner is crucial within eDiscovery, and digital forensic investigations, to ensure that accurate evidence is presented in court.

Is the client is not willing to instruct a provider to manage a disclosure exercise? If yes, you could be leaving yourselves open to criticism by the court and the opposing party. CYFOR Legal always advise clients to allow for forensically collected data during an eDiscovery matter. This is the only way to preserve the metadata within the documents, which can be extensive in volume.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is the information generated within a piece of electronic data and is effectively the ‘data about the data’. Metadata exists within every digital item and in physical devices such as computers and smartphones. Preserving metadata is critical within eDiscovery and civil litigation exercises. Failure to do so would allow the opposing side to challenge your eDisclosure process and/or accuse your client of having fraudulently created documents. 

If we have a forensically collected copy of the data, this gives credibility to your disclosure matter in a court of law. This would essential confirm that all documents are legitimate, which would not be possible if the client carries out the collection themselves.

Forensic Methodology

CYFOR Legal adopt the methodology of ‘collect wide, review narrow’ to ensure that no evidential data is missed. By following this process, the risk of the opposing side accusing you of not having reviewed or disclosed all relevant information is eliminated. If the client is allowed to review the data before you do, then they would be able to withhold potentially relevant information. This may be detrimental as this can be challenged by the opposing side in court.

Incurring Further Costs
When embarking on your eDiscovery journey it is essential to consider all avenues that may incur further costs within your investigation.
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Self Search Processes
We have experienced cases where corporates have tried to do searches themselves. Ultimately, they ended up instructing CYFOR Legal to repeat the work under forensic protocols, as nobody could confirm that they had, in fact, conducted a sufficient search of the data. It is, therefore, more cost and time effective to get a third party involved as soon as you reach the disclosure stage.
Outsourcing eDiscovery
It is also worth mentioning that it may, in fact, be cheaper to outsource, as opposed to conducting a linear review of the documents. If thousands of documents are involved, deadlines can be missed without having a more efficient way of reviewing the data. Secondly, it would take significantly longer to review manually, which would increase legal costs.
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Online Review Platforms

Online document review platforms are powerful and indispensable tools within the eDisclosure process. They effectively manage vast amounts of electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation and dispute resolution. They allow you to search across datasets to quickly identify, organise and tag documents, which reduces the overall review time and drastically reduces costs. CYFOR Legal utilise leading industry technology to ensure that your data is gathered in a forensically sound manner that is presentable and reliable in a court of law.

Explore our complete eDiscovery solutions suite here. 

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