Electronic Data: What all attorneys needs for general litigation from Jackson, Ms across the world wide web.by The Coon Law Firm, PLLC
Technology has had an immeasurable impact on society. Electronic data now makes up the bulk of documentary evidence used by lawyers across the spectrum of practice areas. The word "bulk" is used by your writer purposefully. Massive amounts data can be stored electronically in a very small space and the plethora of electronic devices now available make it easier for people to access and use electronically stored information. The storage of data in binary code with ever friendlier user interfaces has ushered in the electronic age. This inevitably led lawyers down the path from electronic mail to electronic records to electronic discovery. Whether you are an attorney in Jackson, MS or an attorney in Mountain View, CA, you need to have an understanding of technology and how to effectively request and analyze large amounts of electronically stored data during discovery.
Moore's Law states that technologically develops exponentially, doubling the processing speeds and storage/memory capacity of computers roughly every two years. Consider that an audio CD holds 700 megabytes of data which is equivalent to 1,000 printed pages and a DVD holds roughly 60,000 printed pages worth of data. 60,000 printed pages could fill the bed of a small pick up truck. A megabyte was not too long ago considered a large amount of data, but now it is common to have a computer with 500 gigabytes (500,000 megabytes) of storage. One and two terabyte hard drives are sold in devices that are smaller than your hand. The library of congress contains roughly 10 terabytes of data and that amount of data could now fit in a bread box.
Much of the data used as evidence is held on external servers like cell phone providers, social networking websites and most recently cloud servers. The opposing attorney in your case will be asking for your emails, texts, Facebook entries and tweets. Client's have historically acted rashly when threatened with litigation and would destroy evidence. That is a horrible idea when it comes to electronically stored data. Most people know by now that the "delete" or "erase" button are misnomers. There are programs that "wipe" the disk drive clean and actually do erase documents but what many clients and attorneys do not realize is that these programs leave traces of themselves.
Even if somebody successfully erases electronic evidence, it is still possible to see that something was erased. I liken this to standing next to a garbage bag full of shredded paper. It doesn't look good. The courts recognize this and there are sanctions in place to penalize parties for erasing electronically stored information that may have been relevant. Every client and every attorney from McComb, MS to Michigan needs to remember that the duty to preserve electronically stored information attaches when litigation is reasonably foreseeable.
In order to effectively advocate Attorney's practicing in areas ranging from criminal law to family law to personal injury need to understand how to request and how to deal with the massive amounts of electronically stored data that now makes up most of the evidence in a given case. One way to deal with the amount of data received is to specifically ask for the data to be sent with metadata, hashtags and other referencing and indexing tools that will make the data searchable. There are many different tactics and technology that can be used to effectively use electronically saved data. The important thing is that your attorney be able to work in this growing area of the law and excel at collecting evidence in a world full of electronic data.