Documenting the Chain of Custody

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11Jul2007

Documenting the Chain of Custody

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DocumentingAs with other types of records, it is important to establish and maintain the chain of custody of any type of voice or video recordings to preserve their integrity and validity as evidence.

“Within a few years we will have – through case law and advances in technology – a greater comfort level in dealing with these types of records,” says Conrad Jacoby, attorney and founder of Efficient EDD, an independent consultancy specializing in e-discovery and litigation management.

“We will have an emergence of several acceptable ways to harvest this data and to work with this data, where people trust that it has not been changed through some inadvertent or intentional procedures. Right now, though, because digital audio and video is so cutting edge, we don’t have those clear standards,” he said.

In such a case, the voice or video records should be submitted to the court reporter in the deposition for certification and copying. If the data is coming from a non-party outside a deposition, a court reporter can be assigned to receive the data from the custodian of records and document the chain of custody.

“Chain of custody is very critical right now because the law is unsettled,” says Jacoby.

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