Digital Forensics Tips for Successfully Executing an Anton Piller Order

February 13, 2021

Digital Forensics Tips for Successfully Executing an Anton Piller Order

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

As our lives adopt more and more digital tools, lawyers are adapting their methods to meet the new realities. A major area of evolution is in civil search warrants, known as Anton Piller Orders (APOs).

To be most effective, they are typically obtained ex parte. APOs are usually executed during working hours to allow the defendant to be present and consult legal counsel.

Ken Lew
Ken Lew
Manager, Digital Forensics

As our lives adopt more and more digital tools, lawyers are adapting their methods to meet the new realities. A major area of evolution is in civil search warrants, known as Anton Piller Orders (APOs).

To be most effective, they are typically obtained ex parte. APOs are usually executed during working hours to allow the defendant to be present and consult legal counsel.

Even in the best of times, executing an APO can be stressful due to the rather urgent nature in which documents and digital devices must be seized and reviewed for relevance. Whenever digital devices like laptops, smartphones or desktop computers are involved, it’s best to enlist the services of professionals who are trained and experienced in the forensic seizure of such devices.

The following are some tips to help the process go more smoothly:

  1. Include a digital forensics professional as early in the planning process as is possible. They can be invaluable in helping determine what devices to seize and how to seize it properly.
  2. The order should specify the nature and type of digital records to be searched for.
  3. Items to be searched for should be specific, but not restrictive.
  4. Consider whether there may be relevant data stored in the cloud. If so, make sure it is explicitly mentioned in the order.
  5. A detailed list of all evidence seized should be made and the independent supervising solicitor should provide this list to the defendant.
  6. Be aware that some devices may be encrypted (eg. Bitlocker) and will probably require experts to seize properly.
  7. Consider smaller devices or media, eg. voice recorders, microSD cards, smart watches.
  8. Some devices may be connected to other devices or other repositories via the Internet. Those repositories may contain valuable information that needs to be considered.
  9. Consider what evidence can be found on social networks.
  10. During the planning phase, conduct reconnaissance or intelligence to try and determine the exact number and types of devices to be seized.
  11. Obtain usernames and passwords whenever possible.

Properly executing an APO for digital devices can make or break a case. MNP has experienced digital forensics professionals with backgrounds in either law enforcement and/or the military ensuring that investigations are carried out with precision and rigour that fully meets the expectations of any court of law, whether civil or criminal.

MNP’s forensic experts can safely and securely execute single and multi-site court orders. Our experienced professionals use mobile field kits and established procedures that allow us to respond to your immediate needs. Working with the court-appointed Independent Supervising Solicitor, we can manage, execute and report on search procedures, seized documents and seized electronically stored information.

To learn more about how MNP can help you, contact:

Ken Lew, B.Eng., Computer Systems
Forensic and Litigation Support
778.309.4750
[email protected]

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