←All Posts Posted on July 4, 2015 By admin
Whether it’s a criminal trial, an employment tribunal or a trade dispute, legal matters increasingly touch on some form of technology. Because computer, mobile phones and other devices have become so ubiquitous the information they store and process touches on almost all areas of our lives.
A computer forensic investigation is therefore becoming a common feature in all kinds of legal matters. Forensic specialists are called in to extract data and ensure that it’s preserved in a form that is acceptable as evidence
If you’ve gone to the time and expense of getting a report from a computer forensic expert on a particular case, then you obviously need the results to be accurate but also legally sound. Having commissioned and spent money on a report you might be reluctant to ask for a second opinion.
But there are times when it’s essential to consider whether additional expertise is required. Maybe you don’t feel entirely confident in the results from the initial report. Perhaps you doubt the investigator’s ability to understand and fully examine the matter in hand. Or maybe you’re faced with a case involving an unusual or complex technology that requires specialist expertise beyond that of most investigators.
Asking for a forensic second opinion is not unlike seeking a medical one. Indeed you’d ask for one for much the same reasons, you need to be certain of the diagnosis and ensure that the right treatment is being delivered. The more serious the issue, the more likely a second opinion will be needed. In a pre-trial situation, or even during a trial, computer forensics can offer knowledge and expertise where it’s most needed to allow the legal team to determine its strategy. It’s therefore vital to ensure that the forensic data you’re working with is correct and this is where a second opinion can be essential.
Of course an investigation is going to cost money and you may be put off by having to pay again. Forensic examinations from companies like Elvidence are charged on a case-by-case basis, costs will usually start from around $300 per hour and rise to several thousand depending on the complexity of the investigation. It seems certain that asking for a second opinion is going to needlessly drive up the cost of conducting a case.
However, that isn’t necessarily the case. If a second opinion provides legal counsel, or a business, with the direction or policy needed in a difficult or uncertain situation, it can actually be a very effective use of funds. Getting a second opinion at an early enough stage may well help prevent the need for more expense at a later date.
A second opinion can, of course, also provide reassurance that the original findings are not only forensically accurate but also well understood and relevant to the case, increasing the chances of a successful outcome. Don’t, therefore, think of a second opinion as a last resort, consider all of the advantages it has to offer.