Paralegal EvidenceParalegal Resource
June 12, 2012 — 1,659 views
Gathering evidence for a criminal or civil proceeding can be a long and drawn-out affair. The rise of the internet and electronic technology has sparked a whole new definition of what can and cannot be used in court, and any lawyer or legal professional should be aware of these terms and restrictions.
The key term in paralegal evidence is known as electronically stored information. This includes files, emails, database entries and any log or free data stored on a computer's hard drive or server. This includes information that is stored in cloud-based servers, which may not be in any single location. Forensic professionals are normally hired to retrieve this data, as any sensitive information can be rendered unreadable through improper handling.
Metadata is another term that can be difficult to understand. Essentially, any file or document created through software like Microsoft Word is assigned a tag that records information on its surrounding characteristics. This includes date of creation, the author's name, keywords and any other details that can summarize the internal contents. Often, if a file is confidential or requires a fee to be accessed, a paralegal can still request a metadata tag for free.