What if private forensic examiner encounters CP?
The only thing that I can add is many times postal inspectors have brought drives to my office and I have had to sign evidence receipts, on occasion the feds have stopped by to see what kind of storage facility I had and how the security of the building was. I feel that the part about driving to and from the station is not realistic but I know that many times LE will ask that you do the work in their office or at what they call a "neutral" location like RCFL.
arashiryu, I understand what you are saying. I dont really have any opinion on why they picked you. However, I really do question the DA and the Detective for calling in a third person. Under discovery, the defense is entitled to copies of all evidence and the right to have it examined by experts of thier own. They then have the oppurtunity to dispute the evidence in court. I think it was a risk by the DA to agree to such a move. What if you had not come out with the same results, who would you have testified for? Who paid you? The govt? The defense? If the government paid you then you would be a hostile witness allowing yourself to be questioned by the prosecution who could only have attacked your abilties and brought into question your expert witness status. If the defense paid, then your a little better off. The prosecution will still come after you but at least a jury would understand that scenario as compared to paying someone then attacking them.
In all my years of police work I can honestly say I have never heard of this type of arrangement and agreement. What I mean is if you didn't get the same results would the prosecution drop its case? And if the case was that strong that the prosecution KNEW what you would find, why jeopardize the case. I would tell the bad guy plead guilty or we go to court. After all thats what we get paid for is it not?
Let me assure you I am not questioning you or your actions in this matter. Nothing is meant by my disagreeing. Just playing a little devils advocate to spur discussion……but this just blows my mind!
The retainer was with the defense attorney and he paid me after the analysis was completed.
Well, it worked out well for all invovled. You gained some valuable experience and hopefully some insight on what to expect in future cases, and the bad guy went to jail!
Thank you for all your input and insight. I am glad we had this healthy discussion. I hope someone got some benefit from this.
Although I must admit I was worried for sometime the way the conversations were going. Thank you for the tip on 'judge's protective order'. I wasn't aware of such order. I am going to ask for it next time. I believe in layered approach. This is an additional layer that will protect the evidence and the evidence handler. Same for "Trust but Verify".
Good lesson learned on Evidence Handling.
The protective order is not just something you ask for, well I guess you could but to get a blanket order without very specific language would be shooting yourself in the foot. It is best to have a previously battle tested order that is worded to cover any possible problems that could arise.
Any courses your seminars you can recommend or know of to compliment computer forensics with some legal training to address such situations.
None is specific but try taking some CLE courses at the local Bar association or some of these Sarbanes type seminars that show up. While they wont address CP they do address lots of issues where you will find yourself needing that info down the line.
The motions and orders are something you just have to either know about or get samples and take something from this one and something from that one. For not being an Attorney I have gotten pretty good at drafting motions, it will also help you if you have an attorney friend who you can call and bounce things off of (not literally) -) Think of how to cover yourself from every way possible, receiving, storage, examination, return, etc. and run with it from there.
Think of this too you will need to offer language to attorneys who hire you in order for discovery issues so learning how to draft them will help you out in the long run. DC has a bunch of seminars about electronic discovery and really neat alphabet named streets like Disney Land.
If I can help you please let me know.
I have been pondering for sometime now about taking the Kroll's e-discovery certification course in MN at their headquaters. I'll have to call an see what the course covers in regards to forensic discovery. I am sure it is centric to e-discovery for litigations, but I am sure they have to talk about the unexpected content that is discovered sometimes during discovery.
I'll follow up with a post.
Arashiryu, you may want to go online and look at the curriculm for many of the Masters programs etc. that different Universities and collegs offer. I see you are in Pa. Perhaps you are near one of these colleges that you can not only see what they suggest but perhaps you can contact the professor and see if you can sit in on the classes. If anything they should be able to direct you to training that is geared towards the legal questions of forensics.