Ways to Help Convince Attorneys That You Can Help Them as an Expert Witness

The introductory phone call is your biggest opportunity to influence an attorney’s decision to employ you. Show him that you already know litigation support and that you know your specialty. You can begin by suggesting how you would approach a case he has. Be proactive with your experience and experience.
Once you have a little experience under your belt, you can offer free technical advice with regard to a case, or even share things that other attorneys have done in similar cases. You are not giving advice to a lawyer on the law, but you are sharing your experiences in other cases that are similar. If you have more background in a particular kind of case than the attorney has then your qualifications may help him to identify areas of need. You could suggest the steps you might take to reach an opinion in the case. This approach uses your specialty experience as a selling tool in a low-key way.
Do your credentials and background support your claim to being an expert, and does your CV instantly convey that claim? Do you sound great when you speak, and do you speak well and clearly? Shyness does not become an expert witness. wonderful eye contact is a valued skill.
Can you dress well? Think of your initial meeting with an attorney as a job interview.  Wear business clothing. If you see that the atmosphere in the office is more casual, then you might dress down a bit for future meetings but never dress more casually than those you will be working with. You want to impress attorneys with your professionalism, and your appearance contributes to that. When you attend a deposition or a trial, you should take the same approach to appearance as well. You want everyone to see you as both serious and professional in appearance as well as in demeanor.
Sloppiness in your appearance suggests carelessness in your work.
You should consider one more thing. Do not overdress by wearing flashy clothes or flashy jewelry. One lawyer I worked for pointed out to me that the opposing expert had on a $ 10,000 Rolex watch during a deposition. He said jurors don’t want it rubbed in their noses exactly how much money experts make. The attorney planned to make a point of the watch with the jurors if given the opportunity.

Judd Robbins has been an internationally recognized expert witness since 1986 in the US and in the UK. In 2010, his book “Expert Witness Training” was published by Presentation Dynamics. Robbins has advanced degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, has been an Information Systems manager and an Education Systems manager, and consults in both computer and legal issues. Learn more about Mr. Robbins and his Expert Witness Training materials at www.juddrobbins.com

Testifying as an expert witness with audio and video evidence is the most important activity to an audio forensic expert. When testifying we review your case…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Seminar on Raw Material Requirements (Health Canada/USP/EP) in a cGMP Environment – ComplianceOnline

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014

ComplianceOnline, the leading governance, risk and compliance advisory network with over 500 experts in various regulatory subjects, today announced a seminar on Raw Material Requirements (Health Canada/USP/EP) in a cGMP Environment – Issues and Solutions. The two day seminar led by industry expert Barry A. Friedman will be held on September 8-9, 2014 in San Francisco, CA.

This interactive seminar will cover issues surrounding raw material requirements in a cGMP environment to ensure compliance with Health Canada, FDA, USP and EP regulations.

For more information or to register for the seminar, please click here.

Speaker Barry A. Friedman is a consultant in the biotechnology, regulatory compliance and aseptic processing arena. Dr. Friedman possesses over 30 years of industrial managerial experience in various aspects of biopharmaceuticals and medical devices to include regulatory compliance, expert witness testimony, GLP/GMP, quality control, auditing, sterility assurance, microbiological/analytical validations and fermentation technology.

During the two day seminar, Dr. Friedman will detail raw material requirements in a cGMP environment. He will elaborate regulatory requirements for Phase 1 through commercial manufacturing. Attendees will understand how various types of raw materials may impact the user. Dr. Friedman will also host discussions on topics such as compendial vs. non-compendial testing, use of individual samples vs. composite samples and much more. Case studies will be discussed to illustrate regulatory raw material issues.

This seminar offers a fresh perspective on raw material requirements in a cGMP environment for quality, regulatory and compliance professionals, manufacturing engineers, quality engineers and auditors. Personnel in research and development, microbiology and documentation will also benefit from this training.

Date: Monday, September 8 (8.30 AM- 4.30 PM) and Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (8.30 AM- 4.30 PM)

Location: San Francisco, CA

Registration Cost: $ 1,699.00 per registration

Get 10% Discount for Registration (Use Promo Code – 232082) – please click here.

Register by phone: Please call our customer service specialists at +1-650-620-3937 or email to customercare(at)complianceonline(dot)com

For more information on ComplianceOnline or to browse through our trainings, please visit our website.

About ComplianceOnline

ComplianceOnline is a leading provider of regulatory compliance trainings for companies and professionals in regulated industries. ComplianceOnline has successfully trained over 35,000 professionals from 9,000 companies to comply with the requirements of regulatory agencies. ComplianceOnline is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and can be reached at http://www.complianceonline.com. ComplianceOnline is a MetricStream portal. MetricStream (http://www.metricstream.com) is a market leader in Enterprise-wide Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) and Quality Management Solutions for global corporations.

For more information please contact:

A Reuben Bernard

Manager of Program Marketing


2600 E Bayshore Rd

Palo Alto CA USA 94303

650-620-3937 phone

650-963-2530 fax



Using Intermediaries for reliable Brokerage and business as an Expert Witness

Expert brokerages, called Intermediaries, will list you and your credentials in their own private database or registry, and then promote your availability to law firms.
You sign a contract, agreeing to work for a fixed rate on an hourly basis. When they find you a job, they will charge the law firm that engages you a rate that is higher than your standard consulting rate. They keep the distinction.
Generally, Intermediaries charge you nothing up front, pay their own promotional and marketing costs, and act as your agent in obtaining litigation support jobs for you.
If you are still a relatively new expert witness, you can expect to receive your current consulting rate from these intermediaries. They will add $ 50-$ 150 per hour to your rate and charge that higher figure to the hiring law firm. The extra hourly rate beyond your normal consulting rate determines how much money they earn in total. This can add up dramatically, especially in cases that continue for months and years, with every single one of your hours contributing to their bottom line.
When they find a job for you, the great news for you is that you would otherwise never have heard of the job without them. The good news for them is that once they find you this job, they have to do little else other than collect the money from the law firm every month and pay you. They risk nothing other than their upfront time and energy to find you the law cases to work on.
Once you start receiving cases from these organizations, you will realize that attorneys are willing to pay these higher rates for your services. This signifies that you probably can raise your own consulting rates. However, as you raise your consulting fees, these intermediaries must raise their fees.
Intermediaries have to meet business criteria for profit margins. Consequently, the final rate they charge law firms may exceed what the firms are willing to pay, and you may then lose possible new cases. To avoid that, you may have to revise downward your agreed-upon consulting rates when you use an intermediary organization. On the surface this sounds not ideal, but you obtain extra business and are earning more money than you were. Not a problem.

Judd Robbins has been an internationally recognized expert witness since 1986 in the US and in the UK. In 2010, his book “Expert Witness Training” was published by Presentation Dynamics. Robbins has advanced degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, has been an Information Systems manager and an Education Systems manager, and consults in both computer and legal issues. Learn more about Mr. Robbins and his Expert Witness Training materials at www.juddrobbins.com

Find More Expert Witness Articles

How to Enhance Your Visibility on the Web and Your Credentials as an Expert Witness

If your website appears on the initial page of the Google or Yahoo search engine results, then you may not need any extra visibility. If you are not yet as busy as you’d like, here are some alternative techniques that you can use. Lawyers will look in several places to find experts.
*  universities where you teach or do research
*  membership rolls of professional or technical societies
*  large companies that specialize in your specialty
*  other Lawyers with whom you have worked
*  smaller but highly reputed consulting firms
If any of these locations maintain their own copies of your credentials or CV, make note of each location and keep your data current in their copy.  Tell everyone you know about your interest in expert witness opportunities.
Apart from my own website, internet registries and intermediary organizations are two of my favorite techniques for getting expert witness jobs:
1.  Your main visibility on the web for expert witness jobs is your own website. This is essential for experts at any qualifications level. It is inexpensive and can readily help experienced experts to maintain a busy schedule.
2.  Internet Registries can help build and maintain a work level for professionals with limited to moderate background. The cost is nominal and registries provide a valuable adjunct to your website, especially if your own website has no significant search engine visibility.
3.  Intermediary organizations are an excellent choice for beginning professionals with no contacts in the legal arena. These companies offer the easiest way to establish a new expert witness presence with attorneys. They can also maintain a long term job flow with no promotional efforts required on your part.
Let’s talk about those Internet registries. Although I list all of the registries that I’ve used over the years in my book, a simple Internet search should readily reveal the majority of them. Some specialty companies maintain databases, occasionally called registries, of experts in a variety of disciplines, like engineering, computers, medicine, and hundreds of other subjects. Registries charge you a fee to provide added visibility for your credentials on the Internet; this is a more focused search site than a standard Internet search engine.
Accessing one of the website registries produces a list of specialized professionals in seconds, saving attorneys time and money. While some attorneys still do global searches on Google, many have acquired that searching registries is much more productive. Having your name and credentials in one of the registries listed below will enable attorneys to find you easily.
The registries provide simple displays of your name and contact data, along with a textual listing of your principal specialties and credentials. The registries also advertise in different ways to encourage attorneys to look for expert witnesses in their registry database. The primary downside to a registry with many professionals is that the attorneys may find you and your competitors during the same search.

Judd Robbins has been an internationally recognized expert witness since 1986 in the US and in the UK. In 2010, his book “Expert Witness Training” was published by Presentation Dynamics. Robbins has advanced degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, has been an Information Systems manager and an Education Systems manager, and consults in both computer and legal issues. Learn more about Mr. Robbins and his Expert Witness Training materials at www.juddrobbins.com

Prominent Forensics & Analytics Expert Anton Litchfield Joins Discovia as Vice President of Forensics

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Discovia, a leading global provider of eDiscovery services to corporations, law firms and government entities, announced today that it has expanded its senior data forensics team with the hiring of Anton Litchfield as Vice President of Forensics. He is based in Vancouver, Washington and can be contacted at anton(dot)litchfield(at)discovia(dot)com.

“I am extremely excited to join Discovia as the next step in my professional career,” said Litchfield. “Discovia is a well-run company staffed with proven industry experts who utilize cutting-edge technologies and workflows to help clients achieve favorable results. It seems like the perfect fit for me and I look forward to adding my law enforcement and private sector investigative experience to the Discovia team.”

Litchfield will assist law firms, corporate legal departments and federal, state and local governments with corporate governance, internal investigations, data collection, data forensics and analytics, and cybercrime prevention. Prior to joining Discovia, he was Vice President of Forensics & Analytics at Epiq Systems. He held a similar position at Encore Discovery Solutions, which was acquired by Epiq in 2011, and previously was Managing Director of the data forensics consulting practice at Bridge City Legal and Managing Principal of the data forensics practice at New Technologies, Inc. (NTI). He is an EnCase Certified Examiner and holds a professional certificate in computer forensics from Oregon State University.

Since 1996 Litchfield has testified in over 50 jury trials, depositions, and hearings throughout the US and Canada. He has also served as a court appointed Special Master for computer discovery and forensics. Prior to moving to the United States he was a detective in the Ontario Provincial Police’s Child Pornography Unit (“Project P”). His investigations in Project P included child pornography crimes and matters involving the sexual exploitation of children. Mr. Litchfield has conducted joint forces investigations with law enforcement agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Customs, Interpol, the US Postal Inspectors Service, and the Toronto Police Service.

He regularly advises corporations, government entities, and law firms on issues involving electronic evidence preservation and collection. He has conducted computer forensic training classes that have been attended by US federal law enforcement officers, state and local law enforcement officers, military personnel, foreign government officials, and corporate computer security professionals.

“We are very excited about the addition of Anton to our data forensics team,” said Andy Crain, Discovia’s Vice President of Forensics and the unit’s practice leader. “As a former law enforcement officer, he has developed unique expertise in online investigations and data forensics and analytics. He brings to Discovia a sterling reputation as one of the eDiscovery industry’s leading consultants and expert witnesses.”

About Discovia

Discovia is a leading global provider of electronic discovery services to corporations and law firms handling litigation, internal and ITC investigations, and HSR Second Requests. Services include onsite and remote data collections, data minimization, data processing and hosting, expert application of leading technology-assisted review tools, document review management, and document productions. Through its proprietary processes, highly-automated operation and outstanding talent, Discovia delivers a 99.6 percent accuracy rate, data culling rates of over 95 percent for repeat clients, and a net promoter score of over 60 percent. Discovia is the first eDiscovery services firm to deliver a fixed-price managed service, enabling Fortune 500 corporate legal departments and law firms to gain a world-class eDiscovery function without building it internally. More information is available at 415-392-2900 or http://www.discovia.com.


Nuala Coogan, Discovia



Find More Expert Witness Press Releases

Advocacy Group, A Just Cause, Meets With Congressmen On Capitol Hill About IRP6 Case; Shares How IRP Software Will Help Fight Terrorism and Keep America Safe

Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Advocacy group, A Just Cause, announces today that its team has had recent successful meetings with members of Congress in Washington D.C. regarding the IRP6 case. The team shared information with Congress about the law enforcement software that IRP Solutions had developed and found that there is still a need for legislation to support equipping law enforcement agencies with innovative investigations software. A Just Cause believes that the software developed by the IRP6 is critical to the United States fight against terror.

The IRP6 case concerns an African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The IRP6 were convicted in 2011 and have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado for two years while A Just Cause questions the unusual length of time for getting an appellate decision. The IRP6 and supporters continue to maintain their innocence and are seeking intervention from Congress (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA).

The advocacy organization believes that the federal government’s efforts to track terrorist organizations and collaborate with other agencies in the war on terror could be resolved with Case Investigative Lifecycle (CILC) software developed by the now-jailed CEO and former executives of IRP Solutions Corporation. “A Just Cause is pushing for the release of the IRP6 so they can get back to what they were doing… helping to make this country safe,” argues Sam Thurman, A Just Cause.

“We have found that the software developed by IRP Solutions meets or exceeds many of the requirements called out by the 9/11 Commission, as well as what is suggested as best practices by the National Institute of Justice,” says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. “While the 9-11 Commission Report was released some time back, the issues still exist. The CILC software made such a splash in the market that it was featured in the Law Enforcement Technology Magazine (http://www.officer.com/search?q=irp+solutions), Police Magazine (http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/articles/2004/02/software-spotlight.aspx and http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/photogallery/2010/01/law-enforcement-software.aspx), and it was referenced in the 8th Edition of ‘Criminal Investigation,’ a textbook written by Wayne Bennett and Karen Hess (Criminal Investigation, Bennett and Hess, 2007, Thomson Wadsworth),” adds Thurman.

Efforts to track terrorist activities was brought to the forefront with the 9/11 Commission Report. The 9/11 Commission Report states, “The FBI did not have the capability to link the collective knowledge of agents in the field to national priorities.” The report further stated, “The FAA’s capabilities to take aggressive, anticipatory security measures were especially weak.” (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, August 2004, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/).

The 9/11 Commission analysis stated, “The FBI did not have an adequate mechanism for validating source reporting, nor did it have a system for adequately tracking and sharing source reporting, either internally or externally” (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, August 2004, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/).

Based on forensic evidence presented during the IRP6 trial, we believe that IRP’s CILC software is designed will fulfill the government’s requirements,” says Thurman (Califorensics Analysis, Case 1:09-cr-00266-CMA Document 298-2, 10/8/10 USDC Colorado).

“I am 100% confident that CILC can immediately help the FBI resolve the case management challenges identified by Jack Israel. CILC was designed to be able to do what no other investigative software in the world could – morph itself to work within the process of any law enforcement agency,” says Gary Walker, IRP6 (CEO, IRP Solutions Corporation).

Court records (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA) show that during the trial of the IRP executives, software forensics expert Don Vilfer of Califorensics analyzed the CILC software. According to the analysis conducted by Califorensics, “The software (CILC) contained many notable features, making it a functional product for the intended consumer (Califorensics Analysis, Case 1:09-cr-00266-CMA Document 298-2, 10/8/10 USDC Colorado).” Court records also show that the report stated, “No one software application would meet the needs of all agencies, but the functionality that we observed in our review of the CILC software would undoubtedly be of interest to many law enforcement agencies (Califorensics Analysis, Case 1:09-cr-00266-CMA Document 298-2, 10/8/10 USDC Colorado).”

“Court records show that evidence of the validity of the CILC software, as well as other key testimony were not allowed during trial,” says Thurman. “There is solid proof that the executives of IRP Solutions were engaged with the Department of Homeland Security to the extent of providing a quote to deliver one module of their software to the government… a quote that exceeded $ 100 million (for the Consolidated Enforcement Environment Initiative). I must add that the federal government has already spent over $ 1 Billion on what the government has called failed efforts at this type of software (Virtual Case File and Sentinel, http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/FBI/a0740/intro.htm),” concludes Thurman.

“This week I visited a Congressman in Washington, D.C. who conceded that federal agents still do not have the tools needed to track and fight terrorism,” says Lamont Banks, A Just Cause. “God forbid a terror attack on the scale of 9/11 strikes this nation again. Let’s imagine if the IRP6 were not incarcerated and their software was in full use throughout the country, could something like the Boston Marathon bombing have been avoided,” questions Banks. “That is a very real scenario that people need to consider while six patriots sit in prison for over two years waiting on an appeal,” adds Banks. “We are asking American citizens to take a hard look at this case and demand that the IRP6 be released. These men believe in this country, and I believe that they have developed something that is truly vital in our war on terror,” says Banks.    

A Just Cause has released information showing that court records (Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA) confirm expert witnesses for the IRP6 were not allowed to testify during trial. Andrew Albarelle, Principal Executive Officer of Remy Corporation, a Denver-based staffing company, took the stand to testify on behalf of the defendants, but Judge Arguello dismissed Mr. Albarelle before he could testify. (Discover: Albarelle Letter, Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). “The anomalies in this case are egregious without question”, says Thurman. “When you consider the expert witness situation, Judge Arguello violating the men’s Fifth Amendment, and then the gross injustice of denying them over 200 pages of transcript that we believe will prove their innocence…there is no question in our minds that the IRP6 should not be in prison. There is also no question in our mind that there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation in this case,” adds Thurman.

“In addition to the unusually long lag in the appellate process, A Just Cause questions the inconsistent feedback from the various court employees,” states Ethel Lopez, A Just Cause. “The Judicial Assistant to Appellate Judge Hartz stated that they are done with the case, but the former Deputy Clerk of the Court Doug Cressler stated previously that it has not been decided, and yet another time it was stated that the case is with the ‘writing judge’. These inconsistencies raise a red flag,” argues Lopez.

The IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks) have been incarcerated for over two years (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Judge Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492).

Appellate Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes

For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org.

Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!press-releases/c21pq

Find More Expert Witness Press Releases

Expert Witness Corner: The Importance of Computer Forensics in Criminal Law

In many instances old, or conventional crime is perpetrated using new approaches that are reliant on technology. Postal fraud, for instance, has evolved to employ electronic communication channels, giving rise to waves of emails seeking to defraud recipients with promises of money and fictitious prizes (commonly known as ‘419 scams’ as many of such notes tend to originate from the African continent and 419 is their penal code for wire fraud).

Studies into the cost of cyber-crime, commissioned independently by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reveal alarming trends in the abuse and misuse of technology. The average cost per security incident has risen to over £160,000 and nearly one in four businesses in the UK have suffered a serious hacker attack or virus outbreak. The impact of an information security breach can be so devastating to business operations that one in ten never actually recover and the shutters close permanently. To counter this growing threat, security and law enforcement agencies have adopted fresh approaches for dealing with high technology crime.

Forensic Computing is a relatively young science when compared to contact forensics such as fingerprint recognition which have roots that can be traced back to Edmond Locard, who in the early 1900s famously postulated the theory of evidence being left as ‘mutual exchanges of contact’. Whilst various descriptions exist in relation to this practice, the international survey undertaken by Hannen has been taken as the de-facto definition: ‘Processes or procedures involving monitoring, collection, analysis… as part of ‘a priori’ or ‘postmortem’ investigations of computer misuse’. It is important to appreciate that this definition takes a wider view than the conventional reactive description, where forensics was regarded purely as an incident response function. Hannen considers digital forensics as also taking a pro-active role in security, where it can be combined with intelligence and operational planning.

As a serious field of research, forensic computing studies only started to take real form in the early 1990s when, faced with ever increasing numbers of computers being seized at crime scenes and the potential for crucial evidence to be stored on a PC, various government agencies came together to host the International Conference on Computer Evidence (ICCE). Here many of the challenges facing law enforcement communities were aired and agreements forged to cooperate towards finding effective solutions.

Two years later, in 1995, the International Organisation for Computer Evidence (IOCE) was formed, and a further two years later the member states that comprise the G8 subscribed to the mission of IOCE, pledging support for the organisation. This was the catalyst required to stimulate research and development, and since then great advances have been made in all spheres of digital evidence management. When working on a matter where the case will rise or fall on the strength of digital evidence, for example where an allegation of possession of indecent images has been made, it is important to commission an independent forensic examination of all evidence and digital materials. This places the evidence into the wider context of the offence and enables barristers to make directions to the court based on a fuller appreciation of matter.

Assuming material has been seized by the authorities, the state will usually conduct their own forensic assessments (typically undertaken by the regional police hi-tech crime unit), the results of which will be provided to legal representations. The mechanics of this process involve the ‘imaging’ of the ‘target media’ – the process of making a forensically sound duplication of digital materials of interest (e.g. the computer hard drive). During this duplication process a ‘write-blocking’ device will be employed to ensure the target media is not affected or corrupted in any capacity whilst its content is read and mirrored. The actual forensic analysis is then made upon the duplicated material, with the original placed into secure storage and maintained in the state in which it was seized. The forensic analyst will then peruse the imaged copy to identify materials of potential evidence value, extracting copies as necessary to form the basis of the expert report.

Looking at this from a defence perspective, a number of questions should be posed in relation to the digital evidence (based on the Daubert threshold test that evaluates the competency of evidence in the United States):

• whether the theories and techniques employed by the scientific expert have been tested;

• whether they have been subjected to peer review and publication; • whether the techniques employed by the expert have a known error rate;

• whether they are subject to standards governing their application; and

• whether the theories and techniques employed by the expert enjoy widespread acceptance.

Putting abuses of technology on a statutory footing, Britain has a suite of legislation that can be invoked, from the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Today digital forensics is an accepted science, and evidence duly secured in relation to best practices (in the UK these guidelines are outlined by the Association of Chief Police Officers) can be served in a court of law. Digital forensics are providing breakthroughs in all manner of high profile cases around the world, helping security and law enforcement agencies to catch offenders and secure convictions.

In the US, for example, the notorious BTK serial killer that had a reign of terror lasting over twenty five years in the Wichita areas, was ultimately tracked down after he sent a disk to a local radio station gloating at the police’s inability to catch him. Unique digital footprints embedded within the files were extracted by forensic specialists, and like a lone fingerprint, investigators now had a powerful lead – all they needed was to match the file to the computer that had created it (much like having a fingerprint but not a suspect’s hand to match it with). Wichita Police then conducted a house to house search, taking file samples from every computer encountered. Back in the laboratory, the file footprints were compared to the sample disk posted by the BTK killer, eventually finding a match. This tied the floppy disk to Dennis Radar’s PC, a virtual smoking gun as far the prosecution were concerned. This digital evidence became a pivotal element of the State’s case and ultimately helped secure a conviction.

In the UK the 2002 murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, also saw digital forensics play a crucial, but largely unknown, role in the investigation. Technical analysts examined one of the girl’s mobile phone to identify where it was located when it had been turned off. Information on the nearest network communication tower tends to be stored in a phone’s memory and when the signal coverage of that tower is plotted, it is possible to identify the rough area (typically a few square kilometres) in which the phone was located when it was switched off. Having extracted this information from the handset, authorities had a rough idea of where to base their search; which ultimately led to the recovery of the two girl’s bodies.

Speaking in an interview several years after his pioneering research on the Manhattan Project where atomic reaction theory was developed, scientific visionary Oppenheimer explained that ‘the scientist is free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence’. This thinking holds especially true when applied to the discipline of forensic computing in a legal context. Here experts may be instructed by either the prosecution or the defence, however, in either instance, they have a higher duty to the court. They are instructed as experts, but experts for the truth. It is important therefore to ensure that the experts instructed are duly qualified, experienced and independent.

Commenting on the nature of digital evidence, John Brown, Partner at Hogan Brown Solicitors, explained how the fragile nature of digital evidence can pose serious challenges to the investigator: ‘digital material is extremely volatile – perhaps more delicate than its physical counterparts. It can be copied, amended, and transferred without almost any trace – only experienced and qualified specialists should be employed to work in a digital forensic environment if the subsequent findings are to withstand the scrutiny of a court of law’. When working on a matter where the case will rise or fall on the strength of the digital evidence, perhaps where an allegation of possession of indecent images has been made, it is important to commission an independent forensic examination of all evidence and digital materials. It is also important that lawyers, when they try to find an expert witness choose someone with the necessary skills who is not only able to prepare an objective, unbiased report but also deliver oral testimony if required.

Forensic computing and the securing of digital evidence is a powerful tool in today’s fight against increasingly technically-savvy criminals. It is a discipline that continues to evolve and should remain high on the radar for both legal practitioners and law enforcement authorities.

Ross Patel is a forensic computer consultant with Afentis Forensics. You can view the company profile and find an expert witness at X-Pro UK, the innovative expert witness directory.

Find More Expert Witness Articles

Expert Witness Corner: Forensic Analysis of Mobile Telephones – A Brief Guide

Mobile Telephone Handsets – The Essentials:

Modern communication devices of this form comprise of three distinct components: a finger-nail sized chip known as the ‘Subscriber Identity Module’ (SIM) that is responsible for service with the telecom network provider, the handset, which provides the user interface and memory capacity to store information, and removable memory modules that facilitate simple exchange of information and markedly improve the data storage capacity of the phone.

Many specialists argue that the mobile phone has become the new fingerprint – a case in point being Ian Huntley’s conviction for the Soham murders  in the U.K which was based partly on crucial mobile phone evidence.

Digital Evidence:

Mobile phones employ what is known as ‘flash memory’ to store data and settings. Unlike the ‘Random Access Memory’ (RAM), which is found within computers, flash memory can continue to store information even in the absence of a power source.

As mobile communication devices continue to evolve, with features like word processing and photo imaging applications becoming commonplace, the memory storage areas have become increasingly important silos of digital evidence.

The following materials can be recovered from the handset and can greatly assist in case preparations:

• Logged Incoming & Last Dialled numbers
• Text & Multimedia messages
• System Settings (including date/time/volume)
• Stored audio/visual materials
• Saved computer and data files
• Calendar and Alarm notifications
• Internet settings and websites accessed.

Common Questions:

Q: Where does evidence reside – on the handset or on the SIM?

A: Materials of evidentiary value are stored on both the SIM4 and within the handset memory. Therefore it is recommended that comprehensive evaluations of both are undertaken. The SIM will tend to contain valuable user-specific information such as network identity, whilst the handset will contain large amounts of information relating to calls made/received, texts sent/received, images/video clips created etc.

Q: Can obscene images/material be stored on a handset?

A:The prevalence of high resolution cameras on most mobile telephones has led to an increase in the number of offences being committed in relation to creation, or attempted creation, of obscene images. Assuming a standard handset with 32MB of memory, close to 500 still images could be taken and stored.

Q: Data deleted six months ago – can it be recovered?

A: Dependent upon a number of factors, such as whether the information has since been over-written, it is possible to retrieve even the oldest materials committed to the phone – including material that were never saved by the user. In most cases a surprising amount of information can be retrieved, often going back several years.

Q: Does locking the handset keep information private?

A: Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and pass codes can be used to restrict access to the handset, but forensic assessments typically bypass such controls by interrogating the memory module directly5. At this time encrypted file-systems and data storage areas are not available in standard retail handsets.

Q: What else can the handset tell us?

A: Aside from digital evidence the presence of DNA traces on the keypad, earpiece and mouthpiece can tie a user to device. Similarly, ‘Call Data Records’ (CDRs)6 can be retrieved from the network provider, providing near post-code location information as to where and when the device was used.

Q: How do you identify the International Mobile Equipment Identity?

A: The IMEI is a 15 digit Code used to identify the phone to the network. Whilst this code can be retrieved during a forensic examination, a quick way to force the handset to display onscreen the code is to enter *#06# on the keypad7. Caution: this approach to identifying the IMEI may affect valuable evidence in storage.

Q: OK, I’ve got the basics, but where can I find the right expert to help my case?

A: There are a number of expert witness directories available, particularly online, where you can find an expert witness with the relevant experience to help you. If you can find someone recommended by a fellow professional who has used the expert before, so much the better.

Did you know?

New mobile telephones have as much as 32 megabytes of internal memory – enough to comfortably store a document with over 2,000 pages of text!

Telephone handsets will typically store user defined words that are not in a normal dictionary. Names of individuals and places are therefore often stored in this archive – a potentially valuable source of intelligence for investigators.

Ross Patel is a forensic computer consultant with Afentis Forensics. You can view the company profile and find an expert witness at X-Pro UK, the innovative expert witness directory.