Having a team of litigation consultants that understands evidence and how to manage it from the beginning is a must. Having a team that can quickly parse voluminous data in real-time support of counsel on the case, and in cooperation with law enforcement as some investigations warrant, is the true Flatwater advantage. We have worked on rapid internal investigations necessitating the involvement of law enforcement, in which we provide real case-intelligence on critical questions of fact as counsel enter meetings with regulators and law enforcement to address potential criminal conduct.
There is no substitute for speed when trying to protect a client’s interests where the answers lie hidden in terabytes of data spread across numerous devices and platforms—computers, phones, servers, backups, and in the cloud. The ability to analyze and marry the forensic data—the relevant computer and network artifacts—with the user data—documents, emails, messages, and images—is often the only means to discover the truth about what happened.
With our tactical data team’s experience, expertise and technical savvy, Flatwater excels at scale:
Assisted global non-profit in acquisition of more than 70 TB of data and analysis of more than 20 billion log entries to gather evidence of malicious cyber-attacks and to trace and identify hacker in coordination with federal authorities.
Designed, led and managed multinational internal investigation for a Fortune 115 company, facilitating rapid coordination between early data analysis of more than eight million documents the and investigative teams on the ground. Owing to the speed and thoroughness of the investigation, the company avoided criminal or penalty exposure.
In a due diligence review of a merger, Flatwater coordinated investigators, cyber experts, forensic technologists and eDiscovery professionals in a hunt for missing emails, hard drives, and network shares. A team of two employed AI and analytics to cull four million documents to less than twenty thousand, permitting definitive review in under thirty days. As a result, protracted and expensive litigation (and possible breakup of the merger) was forestalled.
In large and complex corporate litigation, our team parachuted into discovery with quick-fuse deadlines: scoping, designing and managing the acquisition of user, cloud and network data; and conducting both forensic and eDiscovery review of devices and documents. The force multiplier we provided helped the client meet onerous production deadlines with millions of emails and texts at issue.
Flatwater leverages strategic relationships, supported by our corporate technology partners at Vital Enterprises and Sift Discovery, to oversee ingestion and processing of ESI, attorney document and data review, factual and forensic investigations, and preparation of trial evidence. Utilizing both traditional investigative techniques and cutting-edge technology, Flatwater’s managed consulting platform offers efficiency, control and commitment to delivering results.
Speed, precision and technological expertise create a true force multiplier. Numbers do not mean success. A well-trained, experienced and agile team of lawyers and technologists armed with a detailed understanding of the case and with cutting-edge tools can quickly assess the client’s needs, deftly navigate the sea of data and provide superior results at a savings.
Example: The decision to associate with a large firm or to utilize contract attorneys to slog through millions of user documents by means of painstaking linear review using unfamiliar technology, when compared to the platform Flatwater offers, is costly, inefficient and much less effective. Forensics, coupled with advanced review software, can provide an early differentiator, carving though data to permit valuable early decision-making.
Forensic review of native files and metadata alleviates case-altering blind spots inherent in common paper and ESI discovery (who created a document, where and when it was created, whether alterations occurred), particularly when the veracity of a party’s allegations or representations is impeachable by computer evidence. At the confluence of digital evidence and litigation, issues of intent predominate. Discerning between automated and user-directed actions can often only be accomplished by review of specific forensic artifacts that, when married with the user files, tell the truth about how evidence was created, stored, used, exfiltrated, concealed or destroyed.
Example: Questions often arise about the legitimacy of documents. Standard metadata associated with user documents, like those providing when a document was created with Word, can be misleading or inaccurate, or may be innocently explained. Layering the forensic findings from powerful tools that can associate related data—such as emails associated with the Word document, temporary or deleted files on a user’s system, browser artifacts, exhaustive searches for documents containing similar information, information about the time of printing or of saving—is critical to painting a true picture of when a document was created or signed, and can prove something like a fraudulent backdating of a contract that may be a critical linchpin to proving a case based on intent.
Example: In routine cases, questions of intent may arise about a party’s decision to wipe a device hard drive, in the face of an assertion that the device contained only irrelevant information. Related forensic artifacts such as web browser histories on other devices, cloud storage folders linked to the wiped device, related cloud activity, and contemporaneous email communications, when placed on a timeline leading up to the conduct in question, can make the innocent explanation impeachable and prove spoliation. Such proof would go largely unnoticed in most cases employing standard discovery and investigation techniques.