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Alex Jones Trial: Lessons Learned About E-Discovery

Mobile phones have played a supporting role in eDiscovery in civil cases, while testimonials and data from laptops, social media, and emails have provided more concrete evidence used to defend and try cases.

Over the years, there has been a significant shift in legal matters involving discovery and, more specifically, eDiscovery. Mobile phones and text messages have become an integral part of the litigation process. However, there is so much personal data that could be a liability if produced without going through the proper discovery process.

Alex Jones Legal Team Critical Errors

Making crucial errors in eDiscovery can prove detrimental to both lawyers and their clients. There is no better example of this than in the case of the Sandy Hook parents, who won a $49.3 million judgment, including $45.2 million in punitive damages, against Alex Jones, the InfoWars founder, and commentator.

Alex Jones was ordered to pay $4.1 Million in compensatory damages to Sandy Hook parents and $45 million in punitive damages for claiming the massacre was staged.

Alex Jones’ lawyers accidentally turned over an electronic file containing approximately two years of text messages to trial evidence. Jones’ attorneys inadvertently gave the parents’ lawyer, Mark Bankston, the entire digital copy of Alex Jones’ mobile phone with every text message that had been sent for the past two years. 

What Does ‘eDiscovery’ Mean In Law?

Electronic discovery, also called e-discovery, is the process of obtaining and exchanging evidence in a legal case or investigation. E-discovery is used in the initial phases of litigation when involved parties are required to provide relevant records and evidence related to a case.

How Does The E-Discovery Process Work?

The process of discovery begins when a lawsuit appears imminent and ends when digital evidence is presented in court. Attorneys from both sides will determine the scope of e-discovery. The following is a simple description of the e-discovery process:

ESI is identified by attorneys. E-discovery requests and challenges are made.

Data that is identified as potentially relevant is placed under legal hold so it cannot be destroyed. Failure to preserve data will lead to sanctions and fines if the lost data puts the defense at a disadvantage.

Data is transferred from a company to legal counsel. The legal counsel determines the data’s relevance.

Files are loaded onto a review platform. Data is usually converted into a PDF (Portable Document Format) or TIFF (Tag Image File Format) for court.

The review process assesses documents for privilege and responsiveness to discovery requests.

Production. Documents are exchanged with opposing counsel.

Legal Issues With E-Discovery

E-discovery is an evolving field that goes far beyond just technology. It can give rise to many legal, constitutional, political, security, and personal data privacy issues.

Proper E-Discovery Requires A Board-Certified Civil Trial Expert

An experienced Board Certified Professional will produce the correct document files, reviewed by the legal team, and ready for trial.

Alex Jones, Trial Lawyer, is a good example of what NOT to do for your client. It was unfortunate and entirely preventable.

A competent attorney should be able to know how to acquire, review, and produce the correct records without compromising the client’s privacy. Florida law recognizes a right to privacy, and courts are supposed to weigh and balance the competing interests in protecting personal information with the need to discover relevant evidence—evidence that could be critical in determining fault.

Make sure you hire a board-certified civil trial lawyer for your personal injury case. Only about 1% of Florida lawyers are board certified and only a handful of lawyers have the same board certifications as Mr. Zarzaur. 

The firm also has attorneys who are AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell & have been named Florida Super Lawyers®

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Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.