E-Discovery and Computer Forensics: Selecting and Managing Experts

Using Experts to Overcome ESI Admissibility Challenges

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Course Materials


The amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure imposed new disclosure requirements on all sources of electronically stored information (ESI), and litigators are quickly adapting to the rapidly developing e-discovery environment.

The exponential growth of e-discovery has resulted in increased complaints about parties’ handling of ESI, forcing litigators to rely on e-discovery and computer forensics experts to help navigate through trial. Two 2008 decisions indicate that ESI experts may soon be a requirement in litigation.

The courts have not yet established clear standards for experts in e-discovery and computer forensics, placing counsel at a disadvantage when selecting an expert. However, there are some key factors litigators should consider when evaluating and selecting e-discovery and computer forensics experts.

Listen as our panel of litigators provides best practices for selecting and working effectively with e-discovery and computer forensics experts and strategies for admitting ESI into evidence.



  1. Common areas of dispute regarding ESI
  2. Selecting e-discovery and computer forensics experts
    1. Agreeing on the consultant’s role
    2. How to select one
      1. Sources: referrals from colleagues, internet searches, professional associations
      2. Credentials/certifications
      3. Knowledge/experience
      4. Communication/presentation skills
      5. Comfort with courtroom
      6. Forensic tools used by expert
    3. Daubert issues
  3. Managing relationship with experts
    1. Agree on expert’s role
    2. Clear communication between attorney and expert
    3. Explain theory of case to expert
  4. Strategies for admitting ESI evidence
    1. Federal Rule 901(b)(4) — authentication of electronic records
    2. Chain of custody issues
    3. Avoiding spoliation
    4. Responding to challenges to data


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What criteria should litigators consider when selecting an e-discovery or computer forensics expert?
  • What are some best practices for working with experts, especially dealing with disagreements over strategy?
  • What strategies have proven effective for obtaining admission of ESI into evidence?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


D. Christopher Ohly
D. Christopher Ohly
Schiff Hardin

He has been a litigator for over 30 years, trying cases before state and federal courts and government agencies. He...  |  Read More

Brian E. Dykstra
Brian E. Dykstra
Owner and Senior Partner
Jones Dykstra & Associates

His company provides computer forensics, electronic evidence discovery and litigation support to commercial and...  |  Read More

Gregory L. Fordham
Gregory L. Fordham
K&F Consulting

He leads a ten-person forensic team, providing litigation support services in electronic discovery and computer...  |  Read More

Conrad J. Jacoby
Conrad J. Jacoby
Attorney and Consultant

He focuses on technology and its intersection with the law, assisting companies and law firms with litigation matters...  |  Read More

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