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December 02, 2008

In-Depth Review of George Paul's Book "Foundations of Digital Evidence"

Pauls.bookRalph here - I wrote my first book review this long Thanksgiving weekend - The Ninth Step: Review of George Paul’s New Book “Foundations of Digital Evidence”. Please check it out and tell me what you think? 

It is a long review (4,500 words), but I felt that was necessary to begin to do justice to this important work. First, I start off by providing my own twist and put the general topic of digital evidence into the perspective of the EDRM model. That is why I called the review the Ninth Step, since evidence is concerned with the Ninth Step of Presentation. Then I add a long term prediction, a kind of a wish really, that as the first eight steps of e-discovery become more and more cooperative, our adversarial conduct will be channeled into the Ninth Step where it belongs - into courtroom battles as to the admissibility and weight to be given to ESI. You would be foolish to enter that fray without first arming yourself with the ideas and insights provided in George Paul's new book

Then I go into the contents and ideas of the book itself, and include extensive quotes of some of my favorite paragraphs. George Paul is a deep thinker and has flashes of poetic writing not often found in technical writing.  Please check out the book review, and more importantly his book, Foundations of Digital Evidence  (ABA 2008). Read on to see one of my favorite lines from George's book.


Here is one of my favorite George Paul quotes. For more quotes, see the full book review, or better yet, buy the book.

Certainly there are radically different structures, behaviors, and technologies supporting writing than there were when many of our profession studied the law for the first time. Quite simply, our old abstraction about documents no longer serve us. Society needs to put on new conceptual glasses, with different lenses and new frames, to now compose different shapes and forms so that we all can sense the new reality clearly. Old abstractions keep us captured in a bottle of outdated concepts.

Lawyers have a special role in society. When you really want to know what happened – in a dispute in business, or in a marriage, or in a government scandal – you call the lawyers, and they pore over information, including the writings involved. The New Empiricism means that lawyers must understand the workings of informational records better than any other social group. If not, they lose their effectiveness – their status and power in society. The simply cannot do their job – what people expect them to do – unless they have these core competencies.

This book seeks to lay a foundation for core competencies.

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