Jason Bergerson, Director of Digital Forensics
On July 16, 2008, Lucy Johnson was found dead at her residence in Gaston County, North Carolina. Lucy was shot in the back of the head and her house was burned down in an attempt to cover up evidence of the crime. As if this was not tragic enough, Lucy was pregnant. The father of the child, Michael Mead, was later charged with her murder and was facing the death penalty. However, Mead claimed innocence, stating he was never present at the site of the murder. His attorney believed that digital evidence would be the key to unlocking the truth. As the defense team set out to see if his alibi held water, Envista Forensics was brought onto the case by the defense attorney who represented Mead.
"The ability of our experts to answer questions clearly and provide expert technical guidance and advice helps our clients make informed decisions."
While back in 2008, technology was still lingering in the bygone era, Envista was on the cutting edge of digital forensics. In the Mead case, Envista’s analysis showed that Mead made a phone call near his own home, 50 minutes away from the crime scene when the murder occurred. His phone also showed communications with Lucy with no unusual conflicts or undertones between the two, confirming the defense’s stance that they were a happy couple. Mead even claimed he was playing a football video game around the time the crime was committed, and his Xbox didn’t lie. Evidence was no longer pointing at Mead.
In a surprising turn of events, Envista, after performing computer forensics, found incriminating evidence from Lucy’s ex-husband’s internet history. The ex-husband had some interesting hobbies, which gave credence for motive as the defense’s argument claimed he was fearful of being exposed by Lucy. Mead was later exonerated with a not guilty verdict.
This is but one of the many instances wherein Envista leveraged digital forensics to help legal professionals quickly get meaningful answers on the many technical issues at the center of a litigation case. Such success stories have encouraged Envista to enhance their focus on digital forensics given the increased need for experts and the rapidly growing rate of technology. Services like these have been increasingly helpful in location identification, vehicle accidents, insurance fraud, harassment cases, and much more. In fact, cell phone forensics and lifestyle analysis have not only become an integral part of criminal litigation work in recent years, but also civil litigation. Similarly, digital forensics can prove instrumental in protecting IP/sensitive data, recovering stolen data, tracing cyberattacks, detecting improper device usage and electronic tampering, employee misconduct, transportation accidents, and safeguarding assets that are critical to businesses.
As digital forensics becomes more prevalent, Envista satisfies the growing demand as a highly-skilled forensic consulting partner—one of which spans the globe, with numerous disciplines on top of their digital forensics division to truly offer a full spectrum of services to clients. However, when it comes to their well-known digital forensics group in particular, their examiners are laser-focused on the best ways to consult with and educate civil litigators, insurance professionals, in-house counsel, and other legal professionals to help them fully understand all the ways digital evidence can be used before and during litigation.
A Mystery Solved Involving IP Theft
At Envista, we partner with litigation professionals to make sure that they have access to the best qualified experts that can explain digital forensics in a way that is useful in a court of law.
On one occasion, Envista’s digital forensics experts were called in to provide consultation to an attorney for an intellectual property theft case. Shortly after one of the company’s employees quit to join a competitor, it witnessed a drastic loss of business from long-term clients. On examining the former employee’s devices, the Envista team discerned that the person was using a personal cloud storage account attached to the work computer to exfiltrate company data including customer lists, pricing structure, suppliers, future growth strategies, and more. This valuable information was then used fraudulently by the employee to undercut the former employer and hamper their business. In what was a true validation of success, Envista’s analysis confirmed the former employee’s nefarious motives and wrongdoing and helped the attorney demonstrate intellectual property theft.
With nearly 600 experts and engineers located across 30 offices in seven countries, Envista's identity is deeply rooted in its strength in investigation and its global, comprehensive capabilities. “It's not reasonable to expect an attorney who has to stay up-to-date on all the changes in the law to also stay updated with technology, that's our job. At Envista, we partner with litigation professionals to make sure that they have access to the best qualified experts that can explain everything in terms of digital forensics in a way that is useful in a court of law," notes Jason Bergerson, Director of Digital Forensics at Envista Forensics.
The Full Spectrum of Litigation Mechanisms and Dispute Resolution
Envista's digital forensics team is highly focused and specialized in serving its litigation clients through the entire scope of an investigation, from the onset of an incident or suspicion through the consultation, acquisition, examination, and analysis phases to forensic reporting and even testimony. The company consults with legal professionals in the prelitigation stage to help identify evidence and guide them throughout the process to ensure that the preservation of evidence is done right from the analysis stage up to trial preparation. In fact, when it comes to location forensics, Envista boasts of capabilities that few private labs possess. The company specializes in detailed record analysis and radiofrequency verification, which can be increasingly helpful in location identification and lifestyle analysis, insurance fraud, harassment cases, and vehicle accidents.
Backed by experience in thousands of cases, Envista's digital forensics experts are skilled in appearing before a judge or a jury, clearly explaining the concepts pertaining to the evidence, and standing up to cross-examinations. They qualify as an expert in a court of law and have the credibility to attest their opinions as part of the legal process. Envista invests heavily in its staff and understands the significance of expert witness training and consultation so all examiners can relay their thoughts clearly, concisely, and with authority based on their experience, training, and certifications. "The ability of our experts to answer questions clearly and provide expert technical guidance and advice helps our clients make informed decisions," notes Bergerson.
A globally established organization, Envista caters to companies of all sizes. Regardless of the client's location, Envista has an expert at disposal for all needs. The company offers its expertise in various types of cases through either a single expert or a team of experts, depending on the size and scale of the project. Envista's team of experts specializes in various fields ranging from location forensics to computer forensics and is equipped to cater to case-specific needs.
Why Digital Forensics Education is so Important
Envista has found a unique place in the market through its ability to equip clients with quality content. Envista’s experts are passionate about educating clients on the role of digital forensics and how it can help detect the most crucial threats and uncover evidence to lead to breakthroughs in legal cases. Over the last five years, the importance of digital forensics has increased significantly, and Envista believes that digital evidence will be part of every case going forward. As such, Envista provides Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, speaks at numerous industry events, conducts educational webinars, and creates video content and articles to help its clients stay current on evolving technologies.
"We educate our clients in numerous ways. Through content on our website, which includes blogs, white papers, videos, and webinars for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. Our team also conducts live demos and distributes language packets that help clients with the technical definitions for legal documents, like subpoenas that need to be articulated in court,” Bergerson explains. “Envista does all of this on top of several annual speaking engagements with various associations and industry events. This unique mix of educational content and expertise in digital forensics is geared toward equipping clients with knowledge they can use in their cases.”
While technology is subject to continuous transformation, Envista understands the technologies and stays atop the various advancements in digital forensics. The company constantly innovates its investigative technology components to predict the next big change in digital evidence. Moreover, at Envista, healthy company culture is of great substance. With a passion for people embedded into its culture, Envista puts its people first, motivating them to deliver value and go the extra mile for its clients. "We are a service-based business and many of us got into this business not only because it interests us, but we truly want to help people and make a difference,” shares Bergerson. “At Envista, we believe the people matter and we carry that idea through to all staff at all levels. That way, if you have happy, content people because of your company culture and putting people first, those people then produce excellent work and will go the extra mile for their clients.”
Digital Forensics through the Lens of Advanced Technology
Envista has witnessed a surge in cases that involve evidence from wearable devices, mobile phones, cloud storage devices, and more. The company's vision for growth revolves around adjacent services, such as the internet of things (IoT) and wearable devices like fitness watches or Google Glass. Driven by its mission to educate legal professionals on the importance of digital forensics, Envista is keen on expanding its footprint, team, and educational reach in not only areas in which they currently operate but also in new regions.
In addition, the company has plans to open more digital forensics labs globally. Staying abreast of the technological advancements that permeate every industry, Envista is pushing the envelope of digital forensics with their sophisticated expertise to litigation clients across the globe.