How do you pick a data collection partner? In this blog, our dedicated team reflects on what mistakes to avoid when choosing your own data collection partner.
Lawyers are increasingly turning to data collection experts for matter support, whether it's recovering files or analysing data. But how do you choose the right expert for your own needs and which pitfalls should you avoid? Our Digital Forensics team talks you through the most common mistakes they see when lawyers choose a data collection partner.
Waiting Until the Last Minute
One of the most common mistakes law firms make when selecting a data collection partner is waiting too long to begin the process. Even if there is uncertainty regarding how far the case will proceed, it's best to involve a data collection expert early to ensure the defensibility of your data in court.
Don't wait until the last minute to approach a data collection specialist; our world-class team is ready and willing to assist you.
Relying on In-house Support
Very few in-house IT staff are trained on legal procedures and digital discovery techniques. If you ask your in-house team to perform data collection for you, there's a very real chance they could miss evidence or collect it in such a way that means it is not defensible in court during the recovery process.
- If evidence isn't collected properly, it may not be defensible in court
- Evidence that is not defensible may sabotage the case
- Once client data has been collected incorrectly, it's not always possible for a specialist to recover or repair the digital evidence
So, while it might seem cost-effective to rely on internal IT staff, unless they're fully certified in data collection, it could cost more in the long run.
Hiring an Unqualified Team
Similarly, just because a data collection expert claims to be certified doesn't mean they're fully qualified or familiar with all the relevant regulatory requirements they must follow. Instead:
- Look for a partner with world-class digital forensics software
- Make sure they follow standard chain of custody guidelines; and
- Check their security protocols
Hiring an under-qualified data collection team can seriously damage your case.
Questions to Ask
Avoid these common mistakes when hiring a data collection partner by asking four key questions:
- What are your organisation's discovery and evidence preservation strategies?
- Does your team have experience with digital evidence in this area?
- Is your team familiar with the regulatory compliance requirements?
- How quickly can your team complete the work?
This isn't an exhaustive list – ask as many questions as necessary in order to make the right call.