We often hear from attorneys saying, “I have a deposition tomorrow, and I need to preserve social media.” But gathering social media evidence that helps establish timelines and supports a narrative takes time. If you wait until the last minute, you risk losing evidence that could help your case.
Don’t wait to collect online evidence
The time to collect social media evidence is as soon as you know you will need it. If you wait until you are finished preparing your case or for your client to approve the order for an open-source intelligence search, you run the risk of claimants or witnesses having the time and forewarning to remove or delete posts, potentially removing vital evidence you need. Every hour you wait provides more time for your subject to prevent you from collecting the social media and online evidence you need to make your case.
While every state’s laws are different, once that information has been removed from the web, there is not much that can be done to recover it. This is particularly true for social media posts, where once information is no longer accessible, you may need to gain the subject’s cooperation or obtain a subpoena to access the evidence you need.
Gathering online information incorrectly can leave your evidence open to rejection by the court. For this reason, many firms and legal teams already have OSINT experts on contract
Make online discovery part of your pre-trial workflow
Pretrial discovery and e-discovery, along with related motion practice, is frequently the primary determinant of whether a case is successful. An e-discovery strategy that includes OSINT at the beginning can mean the difference between a successful case and one that fails. Additionally, gathering online information incorrectly can leave your evidence open to rejection by the court. For this reason, many firms and legal teams already have OSINT experts on contract and designated as part of their e-discovery policy and workflow.
But in an effort to save time and money, many attorneys don’t always follow these policies and workflows. They try to do the discovery in-house, wait until the last minute when evidence may be lost, or fail to locate and collect all the relevant evidence. Delaying the search, not following the proper workflow, or failing to involve an expert in OSINT can create problems during discovery, leading to missing or improperly gathered information that can negatively affect your case.
Building OSINT into your pre-trial workflow and having that evidence gathered as soon as you know you need it is vital to building a solid case. While OSINT experts may not find evidence relevant to the case in every instance, finding it in just one case could translate into a huge payout or save your organization from losing money. They understand how to quickly and effectively gather data in a format that is admissible while establishing a chain of custody that ensures your evidence is compliant.
SMI Aware is an extension of your team
At SMI Aware, our team of experts helps you discover, analyze, and preserve information from social media and the web. Our proprietary software and technology, combined with expert analysis, ensure that we collect the evidence you need while managing the costs. Contact us today to see how we can provide “best in class” results for a much lower cost than the alternatives.