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Often, in complex civil litigation, there are many electronic documents that need to be reviewed for privileged and confidential information. Certain documents are considered to be privileged—usually correspondence between the attorney and the client, but there might be other confidential documents that are not discoverable. In a case where science and analysis need to be applied to certain documents, a forensic document examiner might be called upon.
If a complex civil litigation matter does not settle and goes to trial, the plaintiff(s), defendant(s), and witnesses may be examined and cross-examined regarding documents provided as exhibits. Disputed documents in a civil litigation matter usually include employee contracts, non-compete contracts, privacy contracts and other contracts, but may also include deeds, wills, income tax records, loan agreements, time sheets, checks, medical records, anonymous letters and checks, depending on the nature of the complex civil litigation.
Often these documents are electronic—either scanned discovery or correspondence, pleadings and discovery transferred to attorneys involved in the matter via email or compact disk. While some emails may be discoverable, emails between an attorney and his client are usually covered under the attorney-client privilege rule.