April 02, 2019

Authenticating Digital Evidence

Increasingly, the outcome of civil and criminal trials turns on digital evidence. Whether e-mail, text messages, social media postings, or website content, “digital evidence” can be the most persuasive evidence in a case, particularly when issues of intent, motive, state of mind, or physical and mental condition are involved. This should come as no surprise because with the explosion of low-cost, Internet-connected digital media, ordinary folks, businesses, and government organizations have integrated digital technology into seemingly everything they do, whether legal or illegal, legitimate or tortious. And given the lightning speed with which digital technology changes, it seems as though all of us are constantly struggling to keep up-to-date with the latest electronic marvel. Paradoxically, our understanding of how these digital wonders work often seems inversely related to our willingness to rely on them in every aspect of our work and private lives.

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