Digital evidence (eEvidence) in litigation is something that, if you’re on either side, you need to comprehend. Not understand; you need more than that. Especially when it comes to evidence and expert witnesses, judges and lawyers need an end to end confidence in the product. Lots of times, that’s not there. The lawyer seeks out someone “reputable” to handle the evidence collection, but what if they’re only 90% on the ball? Unless the lawyer really knows their stuff, they aren’t going to spot the weakness. Which means if the judge or the opposition does spot it, they could be in a bit of trouble.
How to know if you’re witnesses will be able to withstand the glare of the opposition? If you can walk through the entire process, from seizure to presentation, and as the non-expert in the process, be confident that the process is sound.
Questioning the chain of evidence and evidentiary conclusions is simple and straightforward, if mundane and tedious: at every step ask the question. Why did you do that? Why do you claim that? What makes this the best? Is there another way? How did you? Where did you? Who did that? Who says so? Who else says so? When was that?
By simply drilling into each layer of the chain, you gain a confidence in it that comes through in court. And more support for it’s accuracy.
If your witness can’t explain the situation to you in a way that makes you 100% confident, it’s probably not worth 100% confidence. Any gap can be exploited by the opposition. If you can find and fill those gaps, or at least circumvent them, you’re way ahead of the game on court day.
If you can’t, chances are you’re about to get eaten.
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