Raemarie Schmidt developed a training program for computer forensic training experts of all kinds over ten years ago when she ran the Milwaukee drug identification section for the Wisconsin state crime lab. Like more traditional experts, her computer forensic evidence examiners were required to complete a lengthy training program, with actual moot court experience and periodic practice sessions, to become qualified by the lab as competent witnesses. This cisa certification qualification was required before any of the computer forensic examiners were allowed to sign off as the examining expert and to give testimony in a hearing or trial. Many of the graduates of this bindiff training program have moved on to successful careers as computer evidence forensic experts in both the public and private sectors.
Schmidt continues to train computer forensic experts in law enforcement and to learn about new tools and techniques for conducting computer forensic examinations and for testifying in court about the results of those examinations. She is presently affiliated with the cybercrime section of the National White Collar Crime Center, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, that provides support to state and local law enforcement organizations as they deal with economic and high-tech crime. Schmidt and other experienced experts provide basic and advanced training in digital forensic tools and techniques and help prepare law enforcement investigators and prosecutors for courtroom presentations of digital forensic evidence.
This encase training and ftk training program annually trains approximately 500 state and local law enforcement agents to conduct basic computer forensic examinations, but as yet it does not have a dedicated program similar to the one Schmidt put in place ten years ago in Wisconsin. Such programs as Schmidt's current training programs offered at the National White Collar Crime Center provide a beginning for law enforcement organizations interested in the problems that accompany the ever-increasing docket of IT-related crimes. Schmidt is eager to find the time and resources needed to add more forensic training programs for law enforcement investigators and prosecutors. Such programs focus on the skills state and local government experts require in order to testify competently and convincingly about technical and scientific findings.
Beginning computer forensics training forensic examiners can quickly come to understand and apply the basic tools, practices, and procedures of computer forensics for purposes of examining data in a computer or digital forensics for application to digital media. They then need to recognize there is a very big difference between finding all the relevant evidence without contaminating or altering it and communicating those findings as well as opinions about the significance of those findings to a judge and a jury. When the resources and the mandate to prepare staff experts to perform well in the field, the lab, and the courtroom exist, the success of the parties and their legal counsel who must rely on those experts is dramatically improved. Conversely, when an expert who lacks this extensive forensic training and experience is asked to perform a forensic assignment for the first time, it may behoove that expert to consider what sort of training and experience in testifying the opposing expert may have had, in addition to his respective expertise in the relevant technical or scientific fields. Proficiency in the field and in the lab will not necessarily suffice for effectively communicating the significance of the evidence on the witness stand.
Chris Stippich was one of Schmidt's best forensic examiners in Milwaukee. He graduated from the expert witness training program there and has gone on to train law enforcement and private corporate security professionals as experts in conducting computer forensic evidence examinations. Currently he helps to lead a private company, which provides computer evidence forensic equipment and training to corporations and government agencies. Stippich and his company, Digital Intelligence, have taken the packaging of computer forensic investigation equipment to the level of forensic network construction. Their products allow multiple forensic clients to access case and image files simultaneously without duplicating information on several forensic workstations. Stippich now designs, implements, and maintains forensic laboratory networks around the world.
Source : A Guide to Forensic Testimony: The Art and Practice of Presenting Testimony as an Expert Technical Witness