In Managing the Risky Business of Company E-mail Part1 internet expert witness Scott Greene, CEO of Evidence Solutions, Inc., writes that his company has documented, during the examination of electronic systems, employees who frequently say/save things into e-mails or store on a computer, things they would never say anywhere else.
An example of computer message in a court case dates back to the infamous trial of some of the Los Angeles Police being tried in the 1991 beating of Rodney King. One of the officers created a computer message stating, “…….I haven’t beaten anyone that bad in a long time.” This obviously became admissible in court.
A more recent example, is one in which we as a company were hired in a libel case. The libeler was using the internet to post messages on a public bulletin board that were both slanderous and libelous against a competitor in the same field. This person felt that by using “anonymous” e-mails and postings, this would increase their own standing within the same professional community. What the libeler didn’t count on was the traceability of the e-mails to their home, cell phone and company computer systems. We were able to locate the electronic trail, and with this information obtain, on behalf of the client, a court order to confiscate the equipment in order to create image copies of the electronic systems. As a result, in order to keep the issue private, the libeler agreed to a significant out of court settlement.