Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2011-07-22 10:10:14  While moderating CLE sessions at the Carmel Valley eDiscovery Retreat this week, I received multiple emails from clients and contemporaries drawing my attention to the breaking scandal around the erroneous web cache forensic reports in the Casey Anthony trial. As it happens, one of my sessions with Herb Roitblat and Jason Velasco was “Validation Testing – Defending Your eDiscovery Process”. I have not been able to get a more detailed analysis of the exact issue with the CacheBack software used by John Bradley (the designer) as yet. The primary problem was that his initial analysis showed that someone on the Anthony residence computer had run searches for “Chloroform” 84 times when it was later determined that this had happened only one time. This is a good example of how even the best intentioned and experienced user can come up with erroneous results in unusual or unanticipated circumstances.A semi-anonymous, possible attorney blogger has compiled a decent overview of the early computer evidence here.  The primary assertion of the three day analysis by John Bradley (who flew down to perform the forensic examination pro-bono) seems to come from this news article. Reportedly, Mr. Bradley decided to check his results after his deposition and discovered the code issue. Properly and admirably, he immediately reported the new findings to the police and prosecution, who did not present the new findings to the defense or the jury. That is its own sad story. My interest here is why his software generated a report with 83 ‘false’ hits and how he could have found the problem prior to or immediately following his analysis. According to the news article, he reported his findings at 3:30 am before catching his flight home. That raises a red flag on what Herb would call proper “post-process validation”. I tend to focus on pre-process acceptance testing of systems, software, process and people for enterprise use, while Herb really hammers on quality assurance to validate the process for a specific matter or search.I am working on a blog diving into my impressions of the Carmel Valley retreat and my sessions, but I thought that this breaking story deserved commentary while it was hot. Our session of validation testing got a lot of great questions on sampling, Rule 26(g) certifications of compliance and validating third party service providers, which Mr. Bradley was definitely acting as for the Casey Anthony prosecution. By all appearances, he worked hard with a fixed deadline and was deposed over his best understanding of the results. He went back to confirm his work and found a problem. He reported it properly and was obviously ready to take the heat on the stand for the revised results. Would he have found the problem if he had time to recheck his findings, that will depend on the nature of the problem. It does seem likely that he would have found the issue if he had been informed of the initial police findings of only one “chloroform” search. If you only give your expert partial information, then his results may suffer. Luckily, the federal rules have lightened up on the disclosures required for civil expert witnesses recently. In last year’s expert gigs, I frequently felt constrained as to what I could ask for or know under the old rules, mostly for fear that I would inadvertently waive privilege on documents or attorney work product.So read the articles for yourself. It is a great social conversation piece that brings what we do into the limelight and makes it relevant to the rest of the world who has been following this trial. If you get to the depositions and testimony transcript before I do, please shoot me your conclusions and any links.

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