Metadata Analysis - “Fabricated” Documents

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One of the common requests we receive is to help a client determine when a document was created, or if it existed at a specific date and time, and when it was last modified. For example, an employment dispute may involve one of the following circumstances:

1. A memo was handed to an employee during a meeting but the employee denies s/he received the document. The document is presented but it is believed to have been created after the fact. Could the document have existed at the time of the meeting?

2. An employee produces a document that s/he claims was received from the manager, but management denies the allegations. Did the employee create the file? Can metadata provide any answers?

3. Bob, the sales manager for Acme Widgets Inc., was working for a competitor during his employment. How long did this go on? What does the metadata of the recovered files tell us? Can it help us track down files he potentially stole from the company?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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