Avansic Article Published in "Accounts" Magazine
07-12-2010, Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies - Dr. Gavin W. Manes
An article authored by Dr. Gavin W. Manes was recently published in the Summer 2010 edition of "Accounts" Magazine, published by the Council of Petroleum Accoutants Societies. The article, entitled "Electronically Stored Information: A Primer on E-Discovery and Digital Forensics," covers the basic process of e-discovery and digital forensics from preservation and processing through production. Below is the introduction to the article, please contact us for the full text.

"The proliferation of digital devices in the modern world has created significant hurdles for corporations and their attorneys during the litigation process, not least because of the sheer volume of data. E-discovery companies and digital forensics experts are increasingly utilized to preserve, process, filter, investigate, and produce information for business and legal purposes that include evidence extracted from digital devices.

Most modern electronic devices contain digital data storage components, and therefore include information of interest to internal and legal investigations: desktop and laptop computers are the most commonly investigated devices, but cell phones, digital cameras, and digital music players can also provide useful information. When e-discovery and digital forensics experts gather a “snapshot” of information, they must do so detailed and methodical manner in order to ensure such data can be used in discovery, depositions, or trial.

The situations in which digital devices must be analyzed have also broadened, from tracking down hackers to catching fraudulent employees, prosecuting competitors with proprietary intellectual property, and even finding terrorist organizations that use technology to perpetrate their crimes. The courts now recognize digital information as evidence, which has become a cornerstone for both civil and criminal cases in this country. Digital devices often play a pivotal role in the commission of crimes and may include the “smoking gun”.

This article helps clarify some of the basics of digital information, provides a guide to the e-discovery and digital forensics process, and briefly discusses e-discovery costs."

The Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies is a professional organization comprised of the oil and gas industry’s most knowledgeable and influential accountants.