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Computer Forensics For Dummies® by Reynaldo Anzaldua, Linda Volonino

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Chapter 17. Standing Your Ground in Court

In This Chapter

  • Delivering value to the case

  • Finding order in the court, and disorder in the court

  • Exhibiting e-evidence

  • Speaking to the judge and jury

In this chapter, we focus on you in the courtroom. In court, you have two influential roles — present e-evidence and testify as an expert witness. What you have to do depends on whether you're working for the prosecution, plaintiff, or defense or acting as an officer of the court as a neutral expert.

The party that has the burden of proof — and that party's computer forensics expert — tends to have the most work to do. Why? Because the justice system says "He who asserts must prove." That's legal language for "Put up or shut up." The court system puts the burden on the prosecutor or plaintiff to present sufficiently persuasive evidence and testimony to support the material facts. If that hurdle isn't met, the defendant's motion for a dismissal of the case may be granted. Evidence puts heinous criminals in jail, but wrongly used evidence can put an innocent person inside instead.

A huge number of cases end up in court. Yet they represent 5 percent or fewer of the total number of cases that are filed, because most cases are resolved by pretrial (see Chapter 15). For cases that reach trial, you need to be armed and prepared for the court's "barroom brawls."

In this chapter, we start with what is expected from you. (Hint: It's not a forensics image.) We explain court procedures regarding rounds of testimony. ...

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