Flavour of the month

By | 16th August 2012

Suddenly everyone is talking about forensics.

It cannot be just because the Olympics are over, or that The Lawyer has just published its latest table listing the top 100 UK law firms, revealing that as often happens with statistics, different results can be achieved using the same data but in different ways.

It seems that DLA Piper is the main beneficiary of this reworking, leapfrogging over the usual magic circle contenders to take the crown as the “top” firm based in the UK with a staggering 8565 staff worldwide. Hogan Lovells has also benefited, moving into 6th position and CMS (Cameron McKenna) has arrived at 8th.

People may draw various conclusions from these tables but what they underline is the need to take care when examining data so that you draw the “right” conclusions and not the false ones.

Which brings me back to forensics, now more than ever before, a crucial part of the litigators’ armoury.

Hot on the heels of our post about the appointment of Stuart Clarke as Head of Digital Forensics & Technical Services [Forensics in the Cloud, 9th August, 2012] comes an article in Law Technology News on iForensics by Richard Lutkus, managing associate at Seyfarth Shaw:  Apple’s iOS presents complicated challenges for e-discovery [Law Technology News, August 2012]

Richard discusses the challenges which arise in relation to information stored on devices such as iPhones and iPads. The use of these devices has become widespread over the past few years and yet many lawyers ignore the data they contain when dealing with potential e-disclosure.

Some would say that this is all rather technical but my point is that you do not have to understand all the technical ins and outs, you just have to know that there is a potential problem and that you know someone who can help you sort it out. If you do not know there is a problem, that in itself presents a problem!

For example, Richard talks about how easy it can be for someone to break a simple password. Did you know that a basic four digit numeric password can be broken or bypassed in about 20 minutes? A four digit password mixing numbers and letters takes hours longer and an eight digit can take years to break.

Basic stuff, perhaps, but knowledge is power, as Sir Francis Bacon is supposed to have remarked previously!