Before he became a trial lawyer (and an advocate on behalf of the wrongfully convicted), Sean MacDonald in Toronto worked as a private investigator. His experiences on both sides of the coin taught him all too well how time-consuming and expensive it could be to locate eyewitnesses months or years after the fact.
Then he saw a demo of LifeRaft, a cloud-based program that uses geolocation technology and data mining to monitor social media. It can re-create a scene based on public posts on social media.
LifeRaft was marketed primarily toward law enforcement officials to maintain public safety and monitor potential threats. But MacDonald saw other uses. “When I first saw it, it struck me like a bolt of lightning,” says MacDonald, a solo practitioner who sits on the board of directors at Innocence Canada. “I knew this would be unbelievably useful for lawyers preparing for trial.”
Social media contains a potential treasure trove of information. It seems people’s first instinct nowadays is to reach for the smartphone while they witness a fight, traffic crash or crime, then log on to spill the details. The problem was trying to comb through all the selfies, pet portraits and other irrelevant information in a quick, cost-effective way.
Read more from the ABA Journal here.
This article was submitted by Jonathan T. Armiger, Wagner Reese LLP. If you wouldl like to submit content or write an article for the E-Discovery, Information Governance & Cyber Security Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.