A very common refrain from the panel of litigators was dissatisfaction in how examiners handled this aspect of their engagement. Either the examiners didn’t think broadly enough in terms of how they could be of help, or they oversold what they could do.
All expressed great appreciation for the examiner who jumped in and quickly mapped out a clear examination plan and objectives tailored to their facts and strategies.
Equally appreciated was the examiner who considered the challenges presented by an attorney’s quirky situation and, rather than throwing up her hands and giving up, figured out an effective work-around… at a reasonable cost!
Time is of the essence
Iain Johnston, co-founding partner of Johnston & Greene in Chicago, handles very sensitive, high profile investigations and litigation where the financial stakes can be high, and individuals’ careers can hang in the balance.
His response pretty well captures the urgency of the situation, “When the stuff hits the fan, I’m reaching out to a computer forensics consultant for a reason; i.e., there is a crisis. So I need the consultant to be very responsive.”
Tension is often high and nerves on edge during this initial period of uncertainty where counsel and client don’t yet have a handle on the situation, let alone how they’re going to come out on the other side of it.
You MUST be hyper-responsive, if not proactive wherever possible. Once you are
“at the scene,” you need to help bring sense and order to the situation for counsel and his client by quickly assessing the situation and providing a clear and concise roadmap for tackling the digital issues at hand.
Also, the importance of timeliness and of an appropriate sense of urgency doesn’t dissipate once the initial crisis situation has passed. Whether driven by investigative or litigation demands, critical deadlines will continue to present themselves. The last thing counsel needs is to add uncertainty about whether the examiner will complete her work on time to his list of pressures. Once again: How can you make him look good and his life easier?
Communications must be clear and concise, no techno-babble
By far, the most commonly voiced frustration by my panel of attorneys was examiners who use techno terminology and jargon that only Bill Gates could love. Stop it!
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.