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16.4 Getting to the Particulars > 16.4.4 Where might electronic evidence be sto... - Pg. 116

116 CHAPTER 16 Discovery of Digital Evidence in Civil Cases 16.4.1 What happened? All litigation requires a "what happened?" that is the cause for litigation in the first place. Someone or something did or did not do something that has resulted in injury or harm to another party, whether that result is physical or financial harm. Was it a person or persons involved or was it an inanimate object? Ultimately, everything is the responsibility of a person, and getting to the people involved is paramount to locating electronic data. 16.4.2 Who was involved? Since litigation always has some intent to establish liability or culpability, figur- ing out who did something is the first step. In other words, who are the parties that had some interaction with or instrumentality concerning the alleged subject of the litigation? Once these parties are identified, either by name or by area of respon- sibility, the discovery order or conference can be used to determine who to collect data from. While the other side in a civil matter may be required to disclose the identities of persons who may be in possession of electronic evidence, don't be sur- prised if they fail to do so completely. This does not necessarily occur because of intent, while that may be a factor, but because they simply did not consider all of the possibilities. 16.4.3 How would electronic evidence be involved? The multitude of ways in which an electronic record can be created should always be considered in reviewing any type of case. Everything from phones to automated parking systems can create an electronic record. Thinking about methods of doing things today as well as the physical surroundings and potential third-party con- nections to a case will lead to finding out how records were created that can be collected and analyzed. Are there records out there that were created directly by a person involved or by an automated process that was present in the physical space where the incident occurred? Consider all the electronic devices that can be present in a retail store at any moment in time: employee and customer cell phones, surveil- lance systems, alarm systems, computers, credit card processing machines, ATM machines with cameras, facsimile machines--all of these devices are capable of creating and preserving electronic data, even the DVD vending machine that cus- tomers use to rent movies and games requires the use of a credit or debit card. 16.4.4 Where might electronic evidence be stored? Electronic evidence can be stored in so many places these days that it can be mind- boggling once you start to ponder how an electronic record might be created and subsequently stored in even seemingly mundane circumstances. If you are dealing with a business, you can expect that the business will be using computers, perhaps a network and the Internet. This means that electronic evidence