Why E-Discovery and Digital Evidence?

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Craig Ball has been teaching eDiscovery and Digital Evidence for over a decade, and with every semester, he revises his eDiscovery Workbook.  In this post, the master himself details some of these revisions for his class at University of Texas School of Law.  He provides a link to his full workbook in the post and concludes with some very poignant words:

We expect banking attorneys to understand banking and real estate attorneys to understand real estate. Shouldn’t we expect trial lawyers to understand e-evidence and e-discovery? If so, do we start by teaching them the alphabet or do we hope they can learn to fake it without fundamentals?

This course reflects my sense that, while one can surely become a fine physician without it, I want my doctor to have taken biochemistry…and passed. Likewise, I believe students of electronic evidence and e-discovery must not be strangers to data storage, collection, encoding, processing, metadata, search, forms of production, and the vocabulary of information technology and computer forensics.

If you believe that all a trial lawyer needs to know is the law, this is not the course for you. Here, we celebrate the “e” in e-discovery and e-evidence. You’ll get your hands dirty with data, use modern tools and learn to speak geek. We strive together toward competence and confidence, so that you may emerge, not as ill-equipped computer scientists, but poised to be truly tech-savvy litigators.

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Written by Craig Ball

Craig Ball of New Orleans and Austin is a Texas trial lawyer, computer forensic examiner, law professor and noted authority on electronic evidence. He limits his practice to serving as a court-appointed special master and consultant in computer forensics and electronic discovery and has served as the Special Master or testifying expert in computer forensics and electronic discovery in some of the most challenging and celebrated cases in the U.S.

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