employee termination digital forensicsDuring an employment litigation case, computer forensics can be the key element in the case. Emails, file transfers, and HTML caches are some of the “smoking guns” found during computer forensic investigations that have helped dismiss or settle cases. Some investigations reveal deliberate efforts to hide or destroy information and can lead to claims of spoliation.

Wilful destruction of electronic evidence often leads to a summary judgment against the offending party along with sanctions including court costs, expert fees and legal fees. Spoliation is a serious matter to the court and is dealt with seriously.

“The use of computer forensic investigations during the course of an employee dispute or other labour and employment law issue is key to building a solid case. During a matter such as this, many employers first approach their IT staff for data collection. This is not only detrimental to the potential evidentiary integrity of the data, but can also actually destroy the very data we would have otherwise recovered.” Said Rick Crouch, Managing Director at Rick Crouch & Associates.

Increasing numbers of employees now leave their positions of their own accord, but end up trying to fight non-compete agreements or are able to take vital company data with them when they leave. A computer forensics investigator is able to conduct a forensic examination on computers associated with these departed individuals.

“We have helped to successfully defend both private and public employers in class action law suits and complex litigation. Our forensic computer investigations are likewise heavily involved in the defence of wrongful discharge cases, contract and commission claims, implied employment contract claims, slander and libel claims, negligence and negligent retention claims, and whistleblower claims. We also have an extensive practice prosecuting and defending trade secret, breach of fiduciary duty cases, and more. Our investigators regularly provide expert testimony regarding their forensic data investigations in courts from coast to coast.” Added Crouch.

Contributed by:
Rick Crouch
Rick Crouch & Associates
rick@rickcrouch.co.za

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