Make sure your evidence doesn’t get thrown out – learn how to successfully admit email and internet evidence at trial.
The internet made its debut in the 1970s, and electronic information has since found its way into the courtroom. Digital evidence has transformed the way attorneys, judges, and juries conduct discovery, find truth, and engage within the legal field. Attorneys have an ethical duty to understand the technical aspects of gathering, preserving, producing, and presenting electronically stored information (ESI) at trial, especially when an increasing amount of client information is stored digitally. State and federal rules of civil procedure impose upon litigants an obligation to identify, preserve, and produce that information to the opposing side. Discovery issues are often present, throughout any given case, the outcome of which may be dependent upon a proper understanding of digitally and electronically stored information. Attorneys can gain a case advantage by securing information not previously available, including: hundreds of social networking applications, private chat room logs, emails, texts, blogs, photographs, online materials, videos, voicemail messages, cloud-based file-sharing, and material within document storage sites. With this knowledge, an attorney can confidently make specific and complete requests when conducting discovery and providing disclosure because every possible source has been assessed, searched, and uncovered. Once uncovered, it is the attorney’s duty to ensure that the evidence is authentic, can be traced, and that the metadata shows the originality of the document presented. Collecting evidence, even in civil litigation cases, requires you to think forensically. This information will give you the essential tools required to understand, gather, produce, and review ESI. You will achieve this readiness by gaining a solid understanding of what ESI is and how to masterfully tackle issues related to its authenticity and by overcoming objections to admissibility at trial.