Discovery – It’s Not All in the Documents

Robert C. McCue, P.E.
Consulting Engineer

Document discovery is to be anticipated and disliked on every construction litigation effort. By their nature, construction projects are paper and electronic data generation machines. How can the litigation team quickly and efficiently navigate through the voluminous and redundant files while collecting the most important documents?

The CSI Effect: The Increasing Role of Forensic Evidence in Construction Litigation

Leigh Erin Schmeltz, Esq.
October 2006

As demonstrated by the popularity of CBS’s television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the intriguing field of forensic science is capturing the attention of many across the nation. Beyond entertainment and education, however, forensics plays a very real and crucial role in civil investigations, using technology to investigate and establish facts in the civil courts. Evidence that illustrates wrongdoing, negligence and malfeasance through photographs, detailed reports, and testing can mean the difference between an adverse judgment and a complete discharge from liability. Every detail can help tell a story. Whether the detail is a stress fracture of an improperly driven pile, an e-mail or a letter, the challenge is to preserve the evidence for later interpretation and examination. The intentional or negligent destruction or significant alteration of such evidence, or the failure to preserve property for another’s use as evidence, in pending or future litigation, is called spoliation [Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)].