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Chain of Custody Logs Makes E-Discovery Manageable

November 19, 2008

Preserving Chain of Custody in E-Discovery

The Solo Accountant Reporter, November 14, 2008

E-discovery has come a long way since amendments were made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in December 2006, however as this blog points out, its success depends on the actions taken prior to going to court.

A chain of custody log, which proves the integrity of documents from storage to retrieval, can make or break a legal case. Without proper historical records, evidence can be deemed inadmissible in court since details of its existence are factually unknown.

“Chain of custody logs document how the data was gathered, analyzed, and preserved for production. This information is important, as electronic data can be easily altered if proper precautions are not taken. A chain of custody log for electronic data must demonstrate the following: the data has been properly copied, transported, and stored; the information has not been altered in any way; and all media has been secured throughout the process.”

Considering each touch made to evidence needs to be recorded with careful detail, it’s critical that business and IT leaders understand the important role chain of custody logs play in e-discovery. Take a look at this post for a detailed explanation of what a chain of custody log should include. The preservation and authentication of electronic records and their associated metadata is by no means an easy task. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not point out that many organizations are now cost-effectively automating this very process with AbsoluteProof and ensuring the litigation-readiness of all of their organization’s electronic records in the process.

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