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Key Features to Look for in Computer Forensic Expert Witness

The wide variety of computer and electronic issues that need explaining in the courtroom usually lead to the hiring of a computer forensic expert witness to provide understanding and knowledge of numerous matters. The key features in looking for these professionals are one part of looking for the right fit for the case.

Forensic computer work is important in litigation claims, and it entails the professional working for the lawyer through applying scientific methods through the computer and other electronic devices that are often part of the evidence. By shedding light on legal matters, the professional may connect the computer or user to the incident that injured the plaintiff. By using certain procedures and associating liability to the defendant, it is often possible to answer various legal questions and remove confusion in the case for the judge or jury. By examining the computer systems and data within, the expert may increase awareness and demonstrate how the defendant is responsible for the injury.

Qualifications of an Expert Witness

One of the most important features that an expert witness must possess it the qualifications to remain credible in a case. He
or she must exhibit relevance and reliability, but he or she must become a named expert witness through credentials. Having a background in the subject matter is important. Keeping his or her materials and methods in line with others of his or her peer groups in the scientific background is essential. His or her testimony must become admissible, and this occurs through passing an interview with the judge and opposing legal counsel. By explaining his or her credentials and qualifications, the professional may remain as an expert in the claim.

The Job Specifics

Before looking for anything specific, it is important to hire someone with a background in computers and forensic work. He or she must have the relevant knowledge and experience in the field. To use computers, know the ins and outs and piece together evidence for a case through using equipment, tools or an understanding of the inner workings of computer devices. This may even extend to handheld machines, cell phones and networks that connect several or hundreds of computers together. Without having these key qualities, the expert is often useless in the claim with a computer issue or where the computer was the portal to the injury against the plaintiff.

Piecing together broken programs, using the computer to track down a path or connecting the user profile to the defendant are all possible tasks a computer forensic expert will have during a case. He or she should have certain features equipped for the job. These may even include software programs usable in restoring lost data, discs with programs to hack into other programs and a working knowledge of servers and networks. Other key features this professional should possess are usable in increasing the strength of the case and connecting with the lawyer for a stronger working relationship.

Personality Key Features

A professional in the computer forensic world should have certain personality characteristics to provide a better experience in a claim against someone that caused harm through machines. He or she usually needs to have an investigative spirit, a curious nature to strive to find what happened. Asking questions until results are possible is important. He or she needs to remain organized and sometimes to compartmentalize different issues. Because so much information is available when dealing with computers and the circumstances surrounding the case, he or she will need to recognize patterns and see the correlations between different and dissimilar subject matter. Observational skills are necessary.

A background in computer science is important. But the expert must remain objective and not let the details sway his or her opinion one way or another. Presenting evidence and testimony is crucial for an expert, and he or she should have specialized knowledge. Reading, writing and speaking skills need must exist with greater ability in these experts. Basic knowledge of networks, operating systems, software and IT security is important. Additionally, having the software and tools necessary to perform the job is crucial.

The Computer Forensic Expert in the Courtroom

As with many other experts, the computer forensic professional must have a demeanor that places confidence in him or her by the judge or jury. He or she needs to present the evidence and details without confusing the courtroom. A strong working relationship with the lawyer often increases chances of success significantly when the case needs to progress.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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