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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I become a computer forensic specialist?
2. Do you assist in the defense of criminal cases?
3. Do you give private seminars?

4. What do you charge for consulting?
5. Are there computer forensic experts who charge less than you do?

  1. How do I become a computer forensic specialist?

So many folks ask me this question, I've tried to lay out the steps I see as important to becoming a skilled and effective computer forensic examiner.  Click here for my thoughts.
 

 

2. Do you assist in the defense of criminal cases?

No.  Like everyone who holds our Constitutional protections dear, I believe that each accused is entitled to a fair trial and a zealous defense; however, my affiliation with certain professional associations, in particular the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA), is predicated on my commitment to refrain from assisting in criminal defense.  I value teaching and collaborating with law enforcement, government and military forensic specialists, but they wouldn't feel comfortable if they felt I was using what they shared to undermine them in court.

3. Do you give private seminars?

Yes, I travel all over the country teaching electronic discovery, computer forensics and power persuasion to law firms, associations and corporate groups.  My presentations have always been approved for CLE credit and I furnish extensive written materials to the host group for distribution to attendees.  Such seminars run from a one hour minimum to a maximum of five hours with at least two fifteen minute breaks.  I'm happy to do luncheon presentations and am amenable to my presentations being videotaped for internal, non-commercial presentation.

My customary terms are $3,500.00 plus out-of-pocket expenses for travel, lodging, meals and the like for a 60 to 150 minute presentation.  My hosts are responsible for furnishing audio visual equipment to my specifications, duplication of written materials and seeking continuing education credit for attendees with the appropriate governing bodies.  I'm happy to tailor a presentation to a budget where possible, but sometimes I have to charge more when extensive travel or other hardships are required.
 

4. What do you charge for consulting?

I customarily charge $500.00 per hour, half for travel, with a $5,000.00 non-refundable engagement fee.  I credit the engagement fee against time expended.  For more details about my terms of engagement, please visit the Engagement page.
 

5. Are there computer forensic experts who charge less than you do?

You bet, and some pretty good ones.  Probably better looking, too.    If all you want is data recovery from a failed hard drive or someone to run a text search, you can find a capable tech who can do the job as well, for less.  But my clients are hiring me, and appreciate the fact that I'm both a longtime trial lawyer and a certified computer forensic examiner and electronic discovery expert.  They value the years I've spent in court and the insight that gives me into their cases and into the evidence and the users, witnesses, opposing experts and counsel.  They understand that being effective as a computer forensic expert demands more than just topnotch technical ability.  It's as important to be able to convey your findings, in coherent written reports and in testimony--clearly, persuasively, credibly.  The many courts who appoint me to serve as a neutral expert or Special Master also like that I straddle the realms of law and technology, understand the laws of evidence and procedure and, perhaps most importantly of all, am bound as an attorney to uphold the ethical standards of an officer of the court.  I don't seek or accept engagement as counsel in the case, but my legal knowledge and experience always contribute to my efforts.


Phone: (512) 514-0182                Copyright 2006 Craig D. Ball, P.C. All rights reserved.                
 e-mail: craig@ball.net