e-Evidence Insights: Paris Las Vegas

MP900433045 I'm making this another category.  First of all, let me tell you that personally, I found evidence – whether civil or criminal – to be one of the most fascinating subjects in law school.  It was also one of the most complex.  As much as I wanted to get my JD and become an attorney, the problem was that I was in my 40s by the time I took evidence class.  That means, I'd had 40 years to think like a layman; re-programming to think like a lawyer was no mean feat.

But, as eDiscovery professionals, I can't think of anything more important to our clients than how we handle evidence.  It's the basis of everything we do, and not just the collection and processing of it.  There's chain-of-custody, authentication, contamination, etc.  I'm not just referring to physically handling the stuff, I'm referring to how the appropriate professionals should have in their mind a methodology for handling it even before it exists.  One false move and this opens the door to impeachment.

So, it is with great fanfare that I reveal that Paris Hilton has finally made it; to this blog, that is!  Why?  Because of how, as a layman, she handled her arrest for cocaine possession.  Not since OJ Simpson and his "ugly-ass" Bruno Magli shoes has someone – figuratively, this time – put their foot so firmly in their mouth; and in doing so, provided us with another outstanding example of how a bunch of seemingly-unrelated statements, photos and social networking posts may ultimately do her in.

Paris claimed – initially – that the Chanel purse wasn't hers.  What contrary evidence is out there?  Her Twitter post with a snapshot of the identical Chanel purse, exclaiming how happy she is with "my" new purse.  Does this definitively prove it's the same purse?  No; when it comes to criminal proceedings, nothing is that simple – nor should it be when someone's liberty is at stake.  However, if she's convicted, Twitter, TMZ and Radar Online may deserve the lion's
share of the credit.

[This story changes by the minute, but the latest appears to be that Paris now admits it was her purse, but the coke wasn't.  Oy…]

Don't ever tell me that "all publicity is good publicity" and expect me to agree with you…I defer to Miranda and the 5th Amendment.  I – and I suspect Ms. Hilton's criminal defense attorney – wish people would exercise their right to silence more often…