Jian Ghomeshi is not being promoted as a role model for much these days. However, his sexual assault trial is offering up some pretty solid lessons about the potential for long forgotten (or whatever you want to call it) electronic evidence to take centre stage in a factual inquiry.
Ghomeshi’s accusers, after the alleged assaults (which were over a decade ago) continued to communicate with him by email. Those communications were apparently not disclosed to the Crown. But Ghomeshi had kept them, and his lawyer, Marie Henein, used them well. If Ghomeshi does not take the stand (as he is expected not to) we may never know whether he hoarded all of his communications, or just those he thought may help him some day. Either way, he has capitalized on his digital archives.
One important lesson is not to underestimate the potential of a digital history. In a high stakes game, it is worth digging deep into the digital landfill. Yes, it is complicated and can be expensive, but sometimes the payoff is worth it – no matter which side you are on.