eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Has Gone to the Dogs: eDiscovery Trends

If I had known that yesterday was National Dog Day, I would have posted this then, instead of today, but it’s a great story any day.

As reported by ABA Journal, Discover Magazine and NBC News, there is a new type of forensic collection device being used in criminal forensic investigations.  His name is Bear and he’s a black Labrador.

This 2-year-old rescue dog played a key role in the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges, finding a thumb drive that humans had failed to find during a search of Fogle’s Indiana house in July, several weeks before he agreed to plead guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls.

According to the Discover article, Bear also helped officers locate 16 smartphones, 10 flash drives and six laptops during an 11-hour search last month of Fogle’s home.  His training relies on the work of chemist Jack Hubball, who tested flash drives, circuit boards and other electronic components and found a chemical that is common to all of them.  Hubball previously identified the accelerants (e.g., gasoline) dogs sniff out to identify arson, and also helped train dogs to find narcotics and bombs.

According to the NBC article, Bear has taken part in four other investigations, including this week’s arrest of Olympics gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp. And he’s just been sold to the Seattle Police Department for $9,500 (basically the cost of the training) to help investigate Internet crimes.  The NBC article includes a video of Bear in action, with Bear’s “dog whisperer” Todd Jordan providing a demonstration of his abilities.

After helping with the Fogle investigation, Bear’s trainer says he’s received some 30 inquiries from police who want to buy their own electronics-sniffing dog.  I can see why.  Labradors not only have particular sniffing skills, they also make great pets, too!  And, although I have so far been unable to train our black Labrador Brooke to keep from jumping on guests to our house, we still love her and are glad we were able to rescue her last year.  Here’s a picture of her, with her favorite Kong ball:

In the future, criminal forensic investigators may show up at a suspect’s residence with a subpoena, a copy of Forensic Toolkit (FTK) and their trusty lab.  As in Labrador.

So, what do you think?  Do you have a unique ESI collection story?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.