Background - Practices (Details)

Criminal e-Discovery

One of the most rapidly expanding and evolving areas of law relates to e-discovery in government investigations and criminal matters, as electronically stored information (ESI) becomes the dominant form of evidence. Crowell & Moring’s lawyers are at the forefront of this developing field, counseling clients on the key planning, process, and strategic decisions from subpoena compliance through trial.

Our lawyers advise clients on all critical aspects of e-discovery in government investigations and criminal matters, including subpoena compliance (with the goal of making the process as efficient and as cost-effective as possible); international ESI and data privacy laws; cutting-edge Fourth Amendment issues relating to government searches and seizures of ESI; and post-indictment e-discovery challenges, including the manner and scope of the government’s ESI productions to the defense consistent with constitutional requirements (including Brady obligations). Our lawyers regularly speak and publish articles on criminal e-discovery, and leverage this knowledge to efficiently and effectively assist clients in identifying, preserving, analyzing, utilizing, and producing ESI.

Representative Engagements

  • Represented a major international shipping company in an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and EU authorities. In order to address U.S. jurisdictional concerns and EU privacy statutes, we developed a unique document collection, processing, and review solution that could be implemented entirely overseas. Specifically, we used a stand-alone document review operation in our Brussels office, which substantially reduced costs by avoiding expensive document hosting solutions offered by outside vendors. We were able to efficiently and effectively collect, process, review, and produce foreign-based documents (many of which were in various languages) in a manner that controlled costs and aided resolution of the case on favorable terms for our client.
  • Negotiated the scope of a broad subpoena, successfully convincing the government that, based on our experience and analysis of data, focusing on a more limited set of custodians than the government originally proposed, would be mutually beneficial. This successful narrowing of the subpoena saved our client substantial time and resources.
  • Challenged a search warrant’s failure to provide limitations on the procedures and/or conditions for the review of seized ESI, arguing that this violated the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment.