What Auditors and CPAs Can Teach Electronic Discovery Attorneys

Listen to former FASB Board member Gary Schieneman, Sisterson & Company CPA, Robert Overbaugh, and moderator Karl Schieneman, Director of Legal Analytics and Review with JurInnov, discuss how auditors use tools such as audit programs, statistical sampling and other tools to provide reasonable assurances that financial statements are not materially misstated. Some of these techniques might be applicable to electronic discovery. We will discuss these ideas to see if lawyers can learn from accountants how to more effectively evaluate the sometimes staggering amounts of ESI which need to be evaluated in many electronic discovery heavy cases. The standards for an audit and electronic discovery review and production both rely on reasonableness and auditors seem to understand they can’t look at everything despite staggering potential liability if they are found to have done a bad audit and cause damages by people who relied on the audited financial statements.

The panel is an interesting one. Gary Schieneman is my father and in addition to serving on the prestigious FASB Board setting financial reporting requirements in the United States, was a partner in a Big 6 Accounting Firm Arthur Young and a Director for financial services firms Prudential Bache, Smith Newcourt, and Merrill Lynch. He has also taught accounting at N.Y.U. and Columbia University.

Our other panelist Robert Overbaugh directs Pittsburgh based Sisterson Certified Public Accountants and Consultant’s litigation and claims services and business valuation services practices and is also involved in traditional auditing and accounting services engagements. He has 25 years experience as a C.P.A. Before joining Sisterson, Bob spent eleven years with Big 6 Accounting Firm Coopers & Lybrand. One of his roles at Coopers & Lybrand was serving as a member of a task force responsible for revising Coopers & Lybrand’s audit approach, policies and practice aids and was involved in conducting the quality review of Coopers & Lybrand’s accounting and auditing practices at the international level.

Topics which will be covered include how audited financial statements are used, how audits are planned, the role of an audit program to guide and document the steps of an audit, how sampling records is a significant part of an auditor’s job, and whether they believe auditing principles could be applied to electronic discovery challenges. Come join us for an interesting podcast on a topic which might be a first for the electronic discovery world.

REcorded 08/11/2009

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