Jessica Reust Smith, a Managing Director of Digital Forensics in Stroz Friedberg’s Washington, DC office, is responsible for co-managing the firm’s technical operations in the areas of computer forensics, cybercrime response, incident handling, and electronic discovery, in addition to maintaining an active docket of cases. Ms. Smith analyzes digital evidence in criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations for computer fraud and abuse, spoliation claims, intellectual property theft, and other matters. Ms. Smith also assists with the strategic development of the firm’s eDiscovery tools and methodologies.
Ms. Smith has provided expert testimony and performed forensic analysis of digital media, including computers, PDAs, digital media players, and file and email servers, in some of the firm’s most high-profile and challenging cases. For example, she has evaluated obstructive deletion activity in securities fraud cases; covertly acquired and analyzed media in cases involving theft of intellectual property; and identified and reconstructed deleted, fragmented digital DNA files relevant to a multiple homicide investigation and death penalty trial. Among her more significant cases is her expert testimony at the military trial of former US Naval Academy quarterback Lamar Owens. Ms. Smith’s forensic analysis of the computers used by the defendant and the complainant established Instant Messaging links between the two, and Mr. Owens was subsequently acquitted of a rape charge. In another notable case, Ms. Smith testified as a computer forensics expert at an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration hearing regarding the authenticity of electronic documents central to the dispute.
Ms. Smith, an industry-respected authority in the area of eDiscovery, has extensive experience managing high-profile and complex eDiscovery cases, including the implementation of mobile eDiscovery processing capabilities in EU countries; structuring data processing protocols to comply with EU privacy laws; and evaluating the internal data preservation and processing methodologies utilized by large corporations in response to litigation or regulatory actions. Ms. Smith also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University from 2012-2013, where she taught eDiscovery to graduate students in the Master of Science, High Technology Crime Investigation program.
Prior to joining Stroz Friedberg, Ms. Smith was a forensic science fellow at the Public Defender Service for Washington, DC, where she assisted attorneys in analyzing forensic science issues for casework and admissibility hearings.
Ms. Smith has presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting and received the 2008 General Section Achievement Award for her presentation on the recovery of deleted, fragmented digital DNA files. A published author, her most recent contribution was as co-author of the “Electronic Discovery” chapter in the Handbook of Digital Forensics and Investigation.
Ms. Smith is a GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst, an EnCase Certified Forensic Examiner and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.