Mobile Forensic Data Review: A Better Solution
POSTED ON September 12

Even though they may not know it, your clients (as well as opposing parties) may have a personal concierge tracking their movements and recording many aspects of their daily life. Mobile devices capture the following information:

• Call logs including incoming, outgoing and missed
• Text messages
• Email
• Photos with embedded location data
• And more!

Often, these devices contain the only unique source of this data. Accidental or intentional destruction of this data may lead to sanctions. A savvy litigator will take immediate steps to locate and preserve this critical, dynamic data.

Shepherd Data has been performing mobile device forensics for several years now, and we have become quite adept at reviewing the data in our forensic tools. Yet, communicating our findings to our clients has been difficult because of the nature of the forensic software reporting tools, which export detailed spreadsheets with links to extracted data. While these reports are very useful, there are significant limitations. First, the forensic reports can be unwieldy, often exceeding several GBs of information. Secondly, spreadsheets do not foster team collaboration, as only one person can review at a time. Finally, the keyword searching, sorting and filtering tools of spreadsheets lack the flexibility and functionality attorneys have come to expect from leading electronic review platforms. Spreadsheets are just not designed for collaborative litigation review. Yet, it was the best the leading mobile forensic tools had to offer.

That changed today. Shepherd Data introduces fOne™ Mobile Forensic Data Processing. fOne takes away the frustration of working with clunky spreadsheets or PDFs. Instead, fOne processes and organizes the extracted data from mobile devices within Relativity®.

Utilizing the features of fOne, attorneys can now:

• Work collaboratively with colleagues – more than one person can view the data at the same time;
• Filter the data by key words and date ranges;
• Perform comparative analysis among multiple custodians’ data;
• Flag important individual items for further review;
• Redact any protected communications on individual text; and
• Control and track exactly what mobile data was produced.
• All within the award-winning Relativity® platform.

We are excited to add fOne™ Mobile Forensic Data Processing to our line of best-of-breed solutions for our clients. For more information about how to use fOne for your next project, email us or give us a call at 612.659.1234.

Solving the Legal Project Management Technology Gap

In the annals of Litigation Support history, we live by three irrefutable constants: impossible deadlines; an ever expanding and dizzying array of complex file types; and a pile of legal pads filled with “have to do’s”.  The first two appear as visible strands in the DNA of a good Lit Support professional.  The latter, though, is a struggle for which we all seek solutions.

How do we manage to keep track of everything that needs to get done? Spreadsheets?  – Nah.  Email folders?  – IT yells at us, and they soon become too unwieldly.  SharePoint?  – Quickly exceeds its capacity for rows in a custom list.  Microsoft Project?  – Not for quick turnaround projects!  How many of us have wandered the halls of LegalTech or ILTA looking for the project management Holy Grail?  Custom software solutions are expensive and unmaintainable.  Off-the-shelf products aren’t designed for our world, where we need to track clients and matters, billing by the GB, volumes and media, and get insights into our team’s productivity.  We need more than a project management tool, we need a crisis management platform.

What if there were an off-the-shelf, but easily customizable option (like a tailored suit with an elastic waist band – fits all sizes)?  A request-tracking solution, relational by client, by matter, by technician, with sub-tasks,  with custom forms and fields defined by me (rather than a PHD in computer science), media tracking, easily created custom reports, exportable data to Excel files when needed, all tied up in a pretty interface that flexed and molded the way I want it?  I didn’t find it at ILTA – I found it through Sadie Blue Software, and it’s called Agility Blue.  “Agility” being the operative word.

Here are the three key features of Agility Blue I value the most:

  1. It’s my central projects hub: Agility Blue provides a single location to find everything I need to keep on top of my team’s work. Request tracking, project communications, media logs, billing entries, and data retention recordkeeping are all at my fingertips.
  2. It’s fully customizable: I can add custom forms, fields, grid layouts, filters, and reports, and I can save these for reuse. I don’t need to adapt my workflow to the software – it adapts to me.
  3. It keeps everyone informed: The built-in comments feature ensures that everyone on my team knows where we are on projects in real time. The email notifications system keeps project owners, assignees, requesters, and other stakeholders up to date on changes to our projects as soon as they happen, which helps me spend less time herding cats, and more time doing productive work.

In summary, we’ve found Agility Blue to be a cure for our LPS (Legal Pad Syndrome) and to be a custom fit to the Litigation Support field.  Could it be that altered, missing DNA strand we’ve sought in vain for so long?  So far, the answer is yes.  A word to the wise – check it out.  It’ll save you some aisle walking at ILTA.

Want to know more?  Join us at an upcoming Shepherd Speaks Webinar on Thursday, August 10th at noon.  Sign up here.

Understanding the Intent to Deprive

The 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure fundamentally altered spoliation of evidence cases with requiring wronged parties to prove ESI was lost with an “intent to deprive.” If a party can prove there was “intent” with the destruction of ESI, then a court may “presume that the lost information is unfavorable to the party, issue an adverse-inference instruction, or dismiss the action or enter a default judgment.” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 37(e)(2)(A)-(C).

Many cases have very little analysis with courts quickly holding there was no “intent” to deprive the party of the lost electronically stored information. When Courts do find the “intent to deprive,” there is usually either extreme facts or courts taking a deductive leap over the lost ESI.

TLS Mgmt. & Mktg. Servs. LLC v. Rodriguez-Toledo is a case where a Plaintiff was able to demonstrate ESI was lost with two out of three challenges to lost data.

The Five Most Critical Steps to Protect Reputations During Litigation
POSTED ON April 18

Crisis sometimes happens fast. Other times, it has been brewing for a while and there is much that can be done in advance before it becomes public or otherwise known by your stakeholders.

There are so many things that can be done to plan and prepare, manage and then rehabilitate after a crisis – which often includes litigation – but there are certain critical things that must be done.

Here are the five (5) most critical things we think should be done to protect reputations in the midst of crisis, especially those involving legal issues.

My, My How You Have Grown
POSTED ON April 12

Shepherd Data Services celebrates its 15 year anniversary this month.  My, my, how things have changed in 15 years! But let’s go back even further. Let’s explore how the skills and tools necessary to practice law have changed over a few generations.

When I prepare blogs, I often work in my home office and my gaze tends to rest upon a photo on my desk of my father’s graduating law school class.  My father, Obert Chalstrom, graduated in 1952 from the University of South Dakota Law School.