Michael Scholz, Vice President of Operations
ESI Insight isn’t just any digital forensics and e-discovery services company—it is a firm led by a team of digital forensics specialists on a mission to help clients focus on the lawsuit at hand while ESI Insight is taking care of the data. Take, for instance, the case of a company that contacted ESI Insight to capture digital evidence from the workstation of a former employee, who was now with one of their competitors. When ESI Insight completed the analysis, they discovered that several files had been moved to or accessed from a removable drive. ESI Insight’s examiners then sat down with the client and their attorney to explain the significance of the findings. “By understanding the movement of files and links between the workstation and the removable drive, we were able to connect the dots and understand the larger picture of the intent behind those events. “As always, we generated the report and explained, in detail, what those events meant for the safety of their intellectual property,” states Michael Scholz, VP of Operations at ESI Insight.
Scholz and his team at ESI Insight bring to the table a nuanced understanding of the legal processes and knowledge of IT and data management systems to address the inherent complexity in dealing with data, especially in cases involving litigation. This combined expertise enables them to cater to a client’s unique digital forensics and e-discovery needs. “We act as a liaison between the legal and IT community, bridging the gap between the two to improve their decision-making,” says Rodney Van Horn, S.C. Director of Operations at ESI Insight. In addition, the company aids in building an efficient and secure data management strategy, empowering business owners and IT managers with a clear understanding of the goals of the e-discovery process. To elaborate, clients can collect, produce, or search for information through intelligent and cost-effective means. By building custom strategies to carry out specific digital forensics or e-discovery functions, clients can achieve favorable results quickly and economically.
At the outset of every client interaction, ESI Insight develops a tailored scope of engagement by understanding the type of evidence that is being sought—such as text, email, pictures, or a combination of all these—from the devices. Based on the client’s response, they develop a well-defined search protocol and gather relevant data, either by visiting the client’s location or remotely using specialized tools.
We act as a liaison between the legal and IT community, bridging the gap between the two to improve their decision-making
This focused approach allows ESI Insight to perform more targeted investigations, minimizing the time spent on irrelevant sectors and ultimately saving time and money. Once the investigation is complete, the team creates a comprehensive report and produces it in the best format for the specific case, making it easy for clients to understand the key findings.
By implementing a comprehensive data strategy and data configuration baseline using ESI Insight’s expertise, organizations can improve their data flow. Should any untoward incident occur (a trade secret theft, for example), these organizations can rapidly identify potential insider-threats, pinpoint weaknesses, limit exposure, and reduce potential litigation costs by surgically identifying the affected areas without needlessly combing through terabytes of irrelevant data. These capabilities prove crucial at a time when most organizations have little visibility or knowledge about their data nor do they have insights into the data access rights of their employees, all of which can open the floodgates for compliance, security, and legal challenges.
ESI Insight has achieved this feat because of their talented and expert team. Van Horn, a law enforcement veteran with 12 years of experience in digital forensics, is a certified e-discovery specialist who runs a forensics lab in South Carolina. Further, extending the support to clients in South Carolina is Scholz, an expert in computer and mobile device forensics who also has experience in e-discovery. Another prominent member of the team, Dean Fowler, Director of Operations, TN, excels as an examiner with strong technical knowledge, forensic examiner certifications, and prior law enforcement experience. Scholz and Fowler also bring vast experience in supporting numerous programs of the Department of Defense.
“All three of us are licensed private investigators,” informs Scholz. Apart from having relevant certifications for different tools, members of the team frequently testify as expert witnesses and write affidavits for use in legal proceedings. To keep the performance bar high, ESI Insight regularly trains on all the leading operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. They also provide training to first responders, attorneys, paralegals, and law students.
Keen on taking its value to broader audience, ESI Insight aims to help managed IT and HR industries become more proactive in litigation management. The company’s information governance approach will enable these industries to easily manage litigation and compliance processes while avoiding unnecessary costs and process overhead.