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2010-07-20 Spoliation: When Good Evidence Goes Bad

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A 15 minute lecture designed as part of a panel presentation on security and legal issues for college and university IT professionals. It was delivered at the eCampus 2010 Conference at Dartmouth College on July 20, 2010.

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2010-07-20 Spoliation: When Good Evidence Goes Bad

  1. 1. Spoliation Frederick S. Lane eCampus 2010, Dartmouth College 19-21 July 2010 www.FrederickLane.com When Good Evidence Goes Bad
  2. 2. Introduction • Attorney, Educational Consultant & Lecturer • Author of 5 Books • Computer Forensics Expert • Chair, Burlington (VT) School Board • Student Safety & Privacy Advocate www.FrederickLane.com
  3. 3. Origins of the Concept of Spoliation www.FrederickLane.com
  4. 4. www.FrederickLane.com Derived from a Roman procedural rule: Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem Which roughly translates as: Let everything be presumed against the spoiler of evidence Origins of the Concept of Spoliation
  5. 5. Current Definition www.FrederickLane.com • The Destruction of Evidence Relevant to an Issue in the Case • Courts Typically Look for Evidence of Bad Faith • Other Grounds: Willful, Unreasonable, or Gross Negligence
  6. 6. The Duty to Preserve www.FrederickLane.com • When Litigation Has Commenced • According to Some Courts, When Litigation Is Reasonably Likely • Attorneys Have Duty to Advise Clients to Preserve Data, Including Discontinuing Routine Disposal Schedules
  7. 7. Possible Sanctions www.FrederickLane.com • Civil Contempt/Monetary Sanctions • Attorneys’ Fees for Litigating Issue • Experts’ Fees for Reconstructing Evidence • Exclusion of Evidence/Testimony Relating to Issue in Question • Adverse Inference Instructions • Dismissal of Claims or Defenses • Possible Obstruction of Justice Claims
  8. 8. The Role of Computer Forensics www.FrederickLane.com • The Great Delete Myth, or, Oliver North’s Dilemma • Part of Discovery or Court-Ordered • Regardless of How Initiated, Increasingly Expensive • A Seeming Endless List of Potential Targets: Servers, Tapes, Drives, PCs, Laptops, Mobile Devices, etc., etc.
  9. 9. El Greco – “El Espolio” www.FrederickLane.com
  10. 10. Spoliation Frederick S. Lane eCampus 2010, Dartmouth College 19-21 July 2010 www.FrederickLane.com When Good Evidence Goes Bad

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