Private Investigation and E-Discovery: Voice and Audio Files

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E-discovery may be necessary in certain legal cases. This means that records may be made through electronic devices for use by the consumer and communications created in this manner may be admitted as evidence for either the plaintiff or defending party.

The need for updating the legal arena to the electronic age is pressing as new technologies are available to assist lawyers, judges and various other staff in court cases and similar matters. Progressing into the new age, these regions of the legal world benefit from swifter cases, additional outlets to obtain evidence and similar advantages.

The means of electronic discovery usually deals with audio recordings, recordings of voice, email, financial data records and documents that are scanned and many other facets of the electronic world. Because these elements of evidence are not physical, they are held through software or in databases online. Discovery in the legal sense is when a party of a lawsuit may be provided information from the other party of the lawsuit. When applied to electronic proof, this means that the evidence is that of electronic files and records. When provided by private investigators, this permits them to remain in the field and still transmit the information for analysis and use in a case.

Electronic Discovery with Private Investigators

When someone has been hired to research or investigate someone or an entity, he or she may place the information in one format that is safe for transport or in a manner that is temporary until it may be provided to the lawyer. This may be a jump drive, software, on a secure website or in a similar manner. When obtaining evidence through sources such as the audio files in a company, many managers and employers are unaware that these files exist or that may be used in a case. It often takes a professional to discover electronic data that was recorded and stored on a computer or in a hard drive.

Many phone calls have been turned into electronic data by using a phone system and then translating the voice into data that may be processed and accessed through software. This has been observed through Skype calls with or without the use of face to face meetings. Additionally, other forms of hardware may be involved such as servers, routers, wall jacks and similar items. Certain software created just for voicemail or voice calls has been implemented. This permits the call to be routed through the software for storage, future analysis and other concerns. No matter if the voicemail has been deleted from the phone, the audio file created remains as a backup. With changes in voicemail systems, there is retrieval for deleted message possible as well.


When an internet call is placed, the information may be recorded and store for future use. This permits the person called to ensure that numbers arenít lost, that directions are accessible and if an examination of the message is necessary, it may be done so at a later date. Additionally, internet calls allow someone to have access to voice and video calls no matter if a phone is possessed by the individual. Backup tapes are usually physical, but any electronic file stored on a computer, server or in a mobile drive has become just information. Tapes that have a larger number of audio and voice files are often stored by a company or organization as standard business practice. There is usually a variety of information available on these items. To ensure the tapes are not destroyed or recorded over, they are usually stored off-site and protected.

Private Investigation and E-Discovery Needs

When an investigation into a case or person is necessary, a private investigator is often contacted for his or her services. Because the electronic age is full of various devices for use that make research and recording easier, many of these professionals use machines to record voice and audio files for the claims, cases and investigations. This means that the data is protected from harm when copied and saved in multiple locations for redundancy. This also makes the obtaining of this information easier as phones and other recording technology are less obvious and may copy the information without notice.
It is important that a PI is contacted for services when voice and audio files must be retrieved from a database, computer system or remotely. Certain access may be restricted, or the professional may be the only person the client knows who may be capable of retrieving the information.


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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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