Atlantic Data Forensics was retained to provide analysis and expert testimony regarding pertinent computer forensics evidence in the highly-publicized Taylor Swift groping case.
Honored to have been retained by defense counsel, Atlantic Data Forensics provided analysis and reporting regarding key digital forensic evidence in the civil suit between D.J. David Mueller, and pop-star Taylor Swift.
Mr. Mueller allegedly groped Ms. Swift in 2013, when he and his girlfriend were at a backstage meet-and-greet. After the purported incident, Mr. Mueller was fired from the Denver station, KYGO, where he had worked. Mr. Mueller then sued Ms. Swift, her mother, Andrea Swift and her radio liaison, Frank Bell, for three million dollars, claiming that there was a concerted effort by the three to pressure his employers into firing him over a “false accusation”. Ms. Swift countersued Mr. Mueller for assault and battery, and a single (largely symbolic) dollar.
In a deposition, Mr. Mueller detailed how several electronic devices he claimed on which to have kept case-relevant evidence were destroyed, causing him to dispose of them. Atlantic Data Forensics, however, determined, based on the testimony of Mr. Mueller, that the data on his devices had a high likelihood of being completely recoverable at the time they were surrendered, lost, or thrown away. Jason T. Briody, Director of Forensic Services at Atlantic Data Forensics, reflected on Mueller’s claims:
“Each of the situations Mr. Mueller describes—water spilled onto a computer, an old and non-working external drive, a discarded cell phone, coffee in a laptop keyboard, a dropped iPad—we’ve personally dealt with all of them, and in nearly every case, the outcome is the same: successful data recovery. At Atlantic, we often recover data from devices in far worse shape. Mobile devices shattered in high-speed car accidents, cell phones covered in battery acid, laptops and desktops completely submerged in muddy floodwater for over a week—you name it. Data recovery from damaged devices isn’t the exception. It’s the rule.”
Mr. Briody and his team submitted a report based on their technical knowledge, industry research, and firsthand professional experience that was attached as an Exhibit to Defendants’ Motion for Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Spoliation of Evidence. In it, Mr. Briody opined that, “given and despite the damage and deficiencies described by Mr. Mueller…there is a high likelihood that all of the data stored on each of these devices was still fully recoverable at the time Mr. Mueller disposed of or voluntarily and permanently surrendered each device.” (Expert Report of Jason T. Briody; Exhibit 12 to Defendants’ Motion for Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Spoliation of Evidence and Memorandum in Support, Document 139, Filed 06/01/17) In response to Defendants’ motion, Mr. Mueller was sanctioned by presiding U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez.
Although Mr. Briody was prepared to provide expert testimony in Court last week, it was not required, as Judge Martinez dismissed Mr. Mueller’s claims against Ms. Swift. Reflecting on the case and the services they provide, Mr. Briody and his team are, “…so proud to be assisting people and organizations every day in the pursuit of justice.”