Welcome to the Audio Discovery Blog!
Rest assured, we realize the last thing anybody needs right now is yet another boring blogspot to monitor, with esoteric topics that would make watching grass grow seem like a night at the Cineplex. (But hey, watching grass grow is at least a real 3-D activity!)
But the fact remains that audio is a burgeoning source of evidence for both regulatory and litigation investigations, and from all the evidence we’ve compiled in the industry, it is evident that this is one type of evidence that is evidently being ignored WAY TOO OFTEN.
We might argue that this fact is self-evident, but then we’d be taking our puns just entirely too far.
So the purpose of this blog is to help enlighten and educate our audience on the ins and outs of dealing with audio evidence, because one thing is very true: audio is not like email, word documents, TIFF images or any of the other kinds of electronically stored information (ESI) that make up the rest of content we deal with in the e-discovery world. Which is why we coined the term…
So, let’s kick this off near the top of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model and talk about how to Identify audio evidence and the likely places it can come from. We have seen projects from many different walks of life: hundreds of hours of body-mic recordings from a personal defamation case; thousands of hours of phone wire-taps in criminal gang activity; even archived radio and TV advertisements (including video) that were searched for false advertising.
But the PRIMARY source of content we see regularly–the content that has literally grown to hundreds of thousands of hours–comes from trading floor activities in both energy and financial services. These tend to be the Big Kahuna matters in the audio discovery world, which if you think about it makes sense. These trading activities are routinely recorded and kept for long periods of time, as in many cases they are the only record of a transaction request. And let’s face it: the last decade has shown that, well, not EVERYONE who engages in this activity has the most stellar reputation. So these recordings have the potential to contain lots of ripe, juicy content that both regulators and litigators would just love to wrap their ears around.
So in upcoming posts, we’ll use these types of matters as the foundation to discuss the elements of audio discovery that will be important for you. Here’s a look at just some of the topics that we’ll cover:
- Audio is a time-based medium and best measured that way. Measuring projects by the gigabyte could be a big rip-off!
- Who’s listening? The Federal Regulators, that’s who. And you should be, too!
- How accurate is “accuracy” in audio discovery, or the trade-off between precision and recall.
- Audio vs. Text Search: All is Not Created Equal
Throughout this blog, our goal will be to educate and make you think about how audio discovery applies in your world, whatever that world is. Whether you are a compliance manager in a financial services firm, an auditor with a government regulator, or an attorney with clients facing litigation or regulatory oversight, you are now–or soon will be–faced with handling audio evidence in one fashion or the other.
So we want you to be prepared to do it with aplomb. And that means quickly, accurately AND cost effectively.
Audio no longer has to be the “dirty little secret” that gets swept under the rug during a Rule 26 Meet and Confer. With tools and techniques we’ll cover, your Audio evidence can rise up and be Discovered!