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Case Study:
Forensics and Data Collections
SFL Data’s Forensics Team Debunks Testimony of Opposing Expert, Assists
Client in Defending Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim
The Challenge
A leading outside counsel firm, representing a major technology corporation, called SFL Data’s forensics
team with an urgent new project – the client had just been sued for trade secret misappropriation after they
hired away an executive from a competitor. The competitor had filed suit and obtained a temporary
restraining order, based largely on the expert declaration of a computer forensics examiner. The opposing
examiner testified that he had located evidence indicating the executive had copied confidential information
to an external storage device just prior to his departure.
The Solution
SFL’s forensic team began by reviewing the complaint and opposing expert declaration. We then gained
access to the forensic image of the computer previously used by the executive before he left the competitor.
We quickly determined that the opposing expert had incorrectly interpreted various forensic artifacts in
reaching his conclusion that data had been copied to the external storage device. We then conducted more
comprehensive testing to solidify our findings that the forensic artifacts on the executive’s prior computer
did not, and could not, indicate such copying had occurred. This work was highly detailed, intense and
required skilled analysis of the software application in question and its underlying component files. The
ultimate analysis in this scenario necessitated a level of analytical skill beyond most average computer
forensics examinations. We soon provided declaration testimony rebutting the opposing expert’s findings.
Our findings and testimony quickly turned the case on its head. Soon thereafter, the judge dissolved the
TRO and the opposing side withdrew its pending motion for preliminary injunction. They also cancelled the
scheduled deposition of their expert, not wanting him to be subjected to detailed questioning about his
flawed analysis and findings. Our client has since filed a counter claim for bad faith litigation and is currently
seeking recovery of its attorney fees in defending the original complaint.
p1 | ©SFL Data 2012
Meet the SFL Data Team: Data Collection and Forensics Experts
Led by Andrew Crain and Paul French, SFL’s Forensics team offers deep expertise, clear communication,
rapid response, budget-appropriate methodologies, and “white glove” client service.
Meet the Expert:
Meet the Expert:
Andy Crain
VP Data Collections & Forensics
Paul French
Data Forensics Expert
Andrew is licensed as both an
attorney and private investigator,
holds an EnCE® certification and has managed
hundreds of investigations and e-discovery matters
during the past decade. He has provided expert
witness testimony about forensics and e-discovery
and has served as a court-appointed neutral
examiner. He is a frequent lecturer on forensics and
e-discovery topics.
Paul has been providing
private-sector forensics and
e-discovery consulting since 1999, following a 13year career in the U.S. Air Force. He is an
accomplished and sophisticated investigator who
provides expert testimony and assists clients in a
wide variety of matters. He holds an EnCE®
certification and has authored more than 35
custom software utilities for email processing and
data extraction and conversion.
About SFL Data:
SFL Data is the first e-discovery service provider to deliver a fixed-price managed service that enables
Fortune 500 corporate legal departments and law firms to gain a world class e-discovery function
without building it. The outcome – dramatically reduced litigation costs (over 50%), better control and
visibility, and defensible results. SFL Data’s clients include Oracle, T-Mobile, and Yahoo! as well as more
than 100 AmLaw 250 law firms. Founded in 1998, SFL Data is a privately held company based in San
100 California Street, Suite 800 San Francisco, CA 94111 p415.392.2900 [email protected]
p2 | ©SFL Data 2012
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