Finding the digital smoking gun

Mobile devices can provide an important source of digital information in cases

In every epic Hollywood Perry Mason-like dramatic courtroom case, there is always that smoking gun, the “ah-ha”  moment – the ubiquitous document waived by a prosecutor in front of an unsuspecting witness who then emotionally admits to taking part in crime. In reality, those surprise moments rarely occur. But, cell phones message can provide critical information in cases and often provide the missing link to prove a compelling argument that can synch the case.

Take for example, when actor Stephen Baldwin sued fellow actor Kevin Costner back in 2012 over a failed business deal. The lawsuit concerned accusations that he cheated Baldwin out of millions of dollars in a lucrative BP contract for oil-cleaning machines. Attorneys in the case turned over his phone for a forensic exam. According to, the phone sweep turned up old text messages that Baldwin’s lawyers put before a jury to claim that Costner knew more than he said he did.

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Alexis Harrison

Alexis Harrison is a Connecticut-based writer and public relations professional whose career spans both print journalism and broadcast news. Alexis started her professional life as...

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