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Pro Digital: Frequently Asked Questions

Recently, a colleague in the eDisovery field was talking to me about another prolific blogger.  The blogger in question had a simple theory to his blogs: Answer the questions people have about your business and you’ll not only foster good relationships built on trust, but also have more well-informed clients.

This made a lot of sense to me, so at the risk of being repetitive, here are some Frequently Asked Questions that people often throw at us with regard to our services, rates, etc.

You can also find these F.A.Q.s and other information about Pro Digital Forensic Consulting on our website:

Q:  Who are your main clients?

A:  Our main clients are attorneys who have been retained in legal matters ranging from criminal defense to intellectual property cases to employment disputes and domestic matters.  Our services also cater to Investigative Professionals, both in private and governmental service.  We also offer our public sector clients free consultation for law enforcement and prosecutor’s offices and greatly value our partners in government.  Other areas where Pro Digital Consulting may add value are:

  • Companies conducting internal audits/ forensic accounting investigations
  • Internal, civil and/or administrative cases where disputed records are stored electronically,
  • Individuals seeking to recover and document lost and/or questioned data from computers and/or mobile devices and (see disclaimer below)
  • Corporations who wish to retain, preserve and secure their old data in a safe manner.

With our history of public service and dedication to helping young people make good decisions in their online activity in the digital age, we also offer services for concerned parents at greatly reduced rates.  These services include data extraction and analysis of your child’s mobile device or computer usage and reporting back to you to make sure there are no issues you may need to address as a parent.  Please visit this page for more information on these services.

While we recognize the need for individuals to obtain data in various forms, we generally do not accept clients who are not formally represented by an Attorney and/or who have not retained a Private Investigator.  The main exception to this is our services for concerned parents, detailed further on this page. If you are interested in a referral to an attorney or private investigator prior to Pro Digital taking your case, please contact us.

Q:  What are your rates?

A:  Because every case is different, Pro Digital Consulting has adopted a fee-based rate schedule which depends upon particular case need.  Most mobile (cell phone, smart phone, tablet) examinations range from $1000.00-$2000.00 per item, depending on the scope of the examination.  Computer forensic (PC/Mac) cases are billed at a rate of $175.00 per hour.  It is roughly estimated that computer forensic examinations take about 10 hours per device/piece of media/hard drive.  However, with ever-growing access of big data technologies for end users, those time estimates may increase.

Cases and media examined in bulk may be negotiated at a different rate.  Feel free to contact us for an independent case needs assessment.

Case assessments vary in scope and complexity and are therefore billed on a case-by-case basis, but rates generally start at $500.00 and increase depending on need.

The Pro Digital staff serves clients locally in Central Virginia and is available to travel virtually anywhere to facilitate data acquisition and assist with your case.  Certain travel expense rates may apply, depending on location.  Additionally, because of the portability of many digital devices, it is always possible to ship an item(s) to us while still preserving the chain of custody and for added convenience to our clients.

Testimony in court, depositions or administrative hearings are billed on a per diem basis with routine expenses charged for cases taking place in other states.  Please contact us for a case-specific assessment so we may tailor a rate for your needs.

Q:  What tools do you use?

A:  We strive to offer the best and most state-of-the-art forensic tools available on the market.  Many hours of training and research go into our decision to invest in a particular tool which we feel may be of utmost benefit to our clients.  Among the tools we are proud to offer are Cellebrite Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) and Lantern by Katana Forensics for mobile forensic cases.  For stand-alone computer forensic cases, we primarily incorporate Xways Forensics and supplement with Internet Evidence Finder by Magnet Forensics, as well as some open-source tools.  All tools are independently tested and validated and updated regularly.

Q:  Do you offer any reduced rates and/or Pro Bono services?

A:  Yes.  It is our philosophy at Pro Digital Consulting that everyone deserves a fair trial and access to high-quality expertise and competent representation.  Toward that end, we offer reduced rates and Pro Bono services to clients who have previously qualified for indigent or court-appointed defense.  Above all, we believe in the methodology of digital forensics and that the data doesn’t lie.

Q:  My data is very sensitive.  How do you ensure confidentiality and security?

A:  In the digital era, most people rely on their devices to hold the keys to the most valuable parts of their lives, such as banking information, passwords and/or client contact information.  As part of our mission statement, we will keep any and all findings in our examinations in the strictest confidence and see this as a vital part of our service.  We go further by not only physically securing digital media evidence, but also by encrypting the acquired data to prevent any outside parties from unauthorized access.

Hopefully, this snapshot has given you some good info about what we do, the tools we use, our rates and even some of our philosophy.

Thanks for reading!

Patrick J. Siewert, SCERS, BCERT, LCE
Principal Consultant
Professional Digital Forensic Consulting, LLC
Based in Richmond, Virginia

Available Globally

About the Author:

Patrick Siewert is the Principal Consultant of Pro Digital Forensic Consulting, based in Richmond, Virginia.  In 15 years of law enforcement, he investigated hundreds of high-tech crimes, incorporating digital forensics into the investigations, and was responsible for investigating some of the highest jury and plea bargain child exploitation cases in Virginia court history.  A graduate of both SCERS and BCERT (among others), Siewert continues to hone his digital forensic expertise in the private sector while growing his consulting business marketed toward litigators, professional investigators and corporations.

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