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Tried And Tested Methods Of Collecting And Maintaining Electronic Evidence Under Hold

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Tried And Tested Methods Of Collecting And Maintaining Electronic Evidence Under Hold

Author : James Page

Submitted : 2013-12-23 21:30:53    Word Count : 498    Popularity:   Not Rated

Tags:   Orlando e-discovery specialist, e-discovery specialist, Orlando Divorce Mediation, Orlando Florida mediator, personal injury disputes, personal injury mediation, mediation attorney, mediation lawyer, E-Discovery Amendments, Social Media Litigation

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The identification, recovery and preservation of electronic evidence in litigation hold is a complex process. However, based on practices that proved efficient for other local government offices, certain recommendations have been made to make this complicated process more streamlined. Understanding the procedures and developing a clear system for the collection and preservation of electronic evidence is crucial, especially for major cities, many of which have over 20 departments that could be subjected to a civil action that requires electronic evidence.

When a department gets sued, a litigation hold is issued by the city attorney assigned to the case. People pertinent to the case as well as their respective departments, including the IT department, are notified via email. A department representative is then appointed to determine what electronic evidence is relevant to the case. The representative is then required to preserve and collect the evidence, which is a daunting job in and of itself because of the sanctions that the city could face, if the representative fails to accomplish his task.

Once department representatives are appointed, a thorough review of the complaint should be done so that everyone concerned get a clear picture of the case's extent. A comprehensive review ensures that everyone is on the same page in understanding the issues at hand. Be sure to request a copy of the filing papers, if it's not already included in the complaint.

The next step is to identify the chain of command of the person(s) involved in the complaint. For example, a city employee would be listed, his or her supervisor, their manager, and so on up the chain of command. This step is important because an electronic trail of information (email) regarding the concern or complaint could have been passed from the employee to his superiors and then higher up even before it blew up into a lawsuit.

A storage location, with the name of the case as the document title, should be made on workstation belonging to the staff member in charge of collecting evidence. For each individual through the chain of command, a specific subfolder should be created with the sole purpose of containing any data collected from them. This step makes sure that the city's legal representation can easily sort through electronic evidence and other data.

Any computer hard drive that could contain potential evidence needs to be forensically imaged. This also includes any external hard drive or USB flash drives that are used to back-up documents. Another addition to this step is determining whether there are shared folders within departments that may contain evidence related to the case. If so, copies of all pertinent files should also be made and stored to cover all legal bases. Recent studies and testimonials prove that cases against city departments strongly benefit from a streamlined, more organized identification, recovery and preservation of electronic evidence.

Author's Resource Box

James F. Page is a certified electronic discovery specialist. He is also approved as a certified mediator and has been helping individuals throughout Florida settle their disputes using mediation. Call 407-341-0069 to learn how mediation can help you or visit http://www.pagemediation.com for more information.

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