Showing posts from January, 2021

Relativity: How To Search For Specific Emails

If you use Relativity as your review platform, you know how brain numbing it can be to formulate the best search for the results you need.  One of the most common requests I get is to find specific emails ONLY between two parties.  This request could be privileged communication between attorney-client or it could be emails between husband-wife or you may just need to carve out only emails between two specific people. Here is how you can set up this search:

VLC Media Player: A Must-Have Application for Law Offices

Playing media files can be a pain.  Just a few years ago, we only had to deal with video and audio tapes so we knew how to play those but today audio and video files can come in many different formats.  Unfortunately, the media players which come with Windows or McIntosh systems have limited capability in playing some of the formats you might receive in your office. So is there an application out there you can use to play almost any media format? VLC is the one you should have on your computer. What is VLC? VLC (VideoLan Client) is a FREE - yes, you read that right - FREE and open source multimedia player that plays most files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs and various formats.  The application runs on Windows, McIntosh, Android, iOS, Linux, etc.  VLC will also work on your iPad or Android tablet device. If you are having trouble playing a file, you need to use VLC first.  It isn't the answer for every file but it's pretty darn good and a must-have for the law office. I won't c

Audio/Video - Converting vs. Altering

When dealing with audio and video files, I have always felt that there is fine line in dealing with the various media formats in the eDiscovery world.  In my experience, I often encounter almost a weekly issue with non-standard audio/video formats.  It may be from a surveillance camera in a convenience store or security camera from a bank.  Many times, the security company used by these institutions will capture audio/video with their own third-party software.  I'm sure they have their reasons but it certainly creates a headache for us when we try to use this for litigation. So what do you do when the audio/video files come into your office?   First - before you do anything to the audio/video files - PRESERVE THE ORIGINAL.  Make a copy of the original to another location that you can work with.   Next, learn how to use the third-party player and get familiar with the features you will need to cull down the data to what you are looking for.  Usually you can go to the software vendor

What's The Deal With .CDA Files?

One of the file formats which gives our legal staff some problems are audio files which are in .cda format.  This means that the file name has an extension of .cda after the filename.   This file extension is commonly used for creating music CDs.   So what is a .cda file? CDA is a file extension for a CD audio shortcut file format.  What this means is that the actual recording is not visible to the average user.  This format is used by Microsoft Windows to refer to audio tracks on a CD.  The .cda file doesn't contain the audio but is simply a shortcut to the tracks on an audio disc.   The mistake that is commonly made by the legal staff is that they either drag and drop or copy the .cda file to another folder or their network drive.  Later when they attempt to listen to the audio, it will not play the recording.   You only have two options.  You can either keep the original audio CD or you can "rip" the track from the disc to convert it to a commonly used format.  In orde