Electronic Discovery Review

Electronic Discovery Review

In modern times, a vast amount of discovery material is created and provided in electronic format, often with no “road map” or guide. There is nothing more frustrating than when the government turns over an external hard drive with 4 terabytes of discovery material in a multi-defendant case and you are left with having to figure out what, if any, material is related to your client. This is where a computer savvy investigator with the technical and organizational skills is useful.

Marc Caudel has been working on complex criminal cases for 15 years.  During that time, he has worked on cases containing thousands of documents that, not only required eyes on analysis and digestion, but also organized in a simple fashion that makes retrieval an ease come time for trial. This is done in a 3-Step process.

Step 1 – Creating an Inventory

Many of these cases now involve large amounts of PDF’s, WAV files from Title III wiretaps (or the sometimes frightening client jail calls) and other types of files that need to inventoried to ensure that you have what the government tells you they have provided.  This helps reduce the chances of missing crucial information that is pertinent to the client as well as disputes over whether a particular piece of evidence was disclosed or not.

The inventory is then provided to the attorney in an easy to follow spreadsheet that can be revised due to the governments continuing obligation of discovery disclosure requirement.

Step 2 – Analysis and Review

Once inventoried, the information is then carefully reviewed, analyzed, and the results memorialized in a memorandum for the attorney. This then enables the attorney to determine the direction and scope of the investigation needed to prepare a comprehensive defense.  It is also during this process that the defense team is able to get a better understanding what, if any, experts may be needed to rebut the governments theories and “facts”. The attorney is also then able to determine what they are missing since during the inventory phase, some documents that might appear to be one thing, could potentially be mislabeled as something completely different.  

Not only can this information be useful if the case were to proceed to trial, it can also assist the attorney in not just explaining the hurdles of the case to the client, but showing them as well.  After all, we have all had clients who not only want to be told what the government’s case is against them, they want to see it for themselves before being receptive to a plea agreement.

Step 3 – Storage and availability

Once the discovery has all been inventoried, reviewed and documented, the attorney can retrieve it in one of two ways.  They can be provided with the work product via an external storage device such as USB drive or, they can view, download and share the information straight from our website from any computer. 

All the attorney needs to do is log in on the homepage with their username and password and they enter into a web portal customized for each attorney.  Here they will find all of the discovery material in a neat and orderly configuration as well as any work product created by us.  

When the attorney receives documents from the government as part of ongoing discovery, they are then also able to upload them directly from their computer to the portal.  Then, those documents will undergo the same rigorous review and analysis and incorporated into the master document file.