“Digital Evidence Wins Cases for Trial Attorneys”
Because of the changing nature of your clients’ relationship with technology, civil and criminal litigation is morphing and becoming more complicated for attorneys. Sure, evidence is no longer just paper documents, but it’s also no longer just electronic documents and email. Today the smoking gun is likely to be found on a cell phone in a mobile app, or a social media site, or a Dropbox account in the cloud. What can trial lawyers do to discover the digital evidence you need and recover it in a cost-effective and timely way to present it persuasively to the trier of fact?
Today, we all have a cell phone, whether it’s a smart phone, a burner, or even an old feature phone. The average age a child first uses a mobile phone is ten years. Some of us have two phones, both personal and professional. And you’ve connected your iPhone to your iCloud account. Or, you’ve connected your Android phone to your Google account. And you synchronize your evidence between phone and cloud account in real-time as you use them throughout your day.
This new digital ecology on personal and professional mobile devices is changing the complexion and challenges of discovery for trial lawyers in civil and criminal cases. “The reason why the cell phone is important is that you are carrying around a personal diary of whom you talk to and often what you talked about”, said Robert Morgester, California Deputy Attorney General. Add to that personal diary the photographs and videos you take, the email and text messages you send and receive, and your address book of contacts. And what’s more, this personal evidence is electronically date and time stamped and some of it is tagged with a GPS location.
If trial attorneys focus only on traditional paper or outdated forms of electronic evidence, how wide will the gap be between what you produce in court versus what the opposing party produces from more relevant and compelling sources? Digital evidence recovered from mobile devices, computers, and the cloud has the power to tell the stories that must be told. Trial lawyers, like you, who leverage that evidence will increasingly win or settle advantageously your cases.