Computer forensic examiners are from Mars, attorneys are from Venus
by Keith Chval - Co-founder of Protek - Wednesday, 27 March 2013.
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No surprises when the inevitable mistakes occur

None of us are perfect. Mistakes sometimes happen, and your better lawyers understand that and calmly and deftly manage through them when they occur.

But, as too many a politician can tell you, it’s often not the crime, but the cover-up that caused the serious damage and fall-out. And so it was for a member of my litigators panel who’s in his firm’s national eDiscovery and Information Governance practice group and was incensed when, to add injury to the insult of losing several forensic images, his vendor not only failed to timely inform him of the mess up, but actually tried to cover it up by “re-creating” the images and presenting them as the originals. You can imagine his opinion of that vendor today.

Mistakes happen. It’s never any fun to have to tell on yourself, but nothing will put you in more hot water, and do more damage to your practice, than failing to timely and forthrightly inform counsel of the mistake. Naturally, verify that there truly is an issue, and take a moment to identify possible solutions, but make that call (not an email!) sooner than later.

May you enjoy a long and prosperous career

Despite their incredibly busy, demanding schedules, my superstar panel of litigators quickly responded to my request for feedback, even forwarding it to others in their firms who also provided feedback. Clearly, all have had experiences with computer forensics examiners that have left something to be desired.

The great news is that it’s obviously of great interest to them to contribute to improving these working relationships, and they’re looking for the right examiners with whom to build those relationships.

For you, there’s great reason for optimism. None of the items discussed above are particularly difficult to master. Most of it is the kind of basic life principles that you learned in kindergarten. Simply consistently thinking in terms of “How can I make his life easier? How can I make him look good?” as you go about your work will ensure you a long and prosperous career.

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