Kelly Griffith, who is a co-leader with Spilman Thomas & Battle's new electronic discovery practice group, spoke at AIDE's conference last week. (Photo by Kyla Asbury)


HUNTINGTON –- Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we live, and one Marshall University organization is working to keep the legal community up-to-date with this change when it comes to evidence.

The Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence was created to serve as a resource to deal with digital evidence in both civil and criminal litigation. This year, the AIDE held its second annual conference, where those interested in digital evidence could learn ways to keep up with changing technology.

Kelly Griffith, a senior attorney at Spilman Thomas & Battle is Charleston, said the electronic discovery process is not unlike the original process, but that it has just changed along with technology.

"The process is a lot like the old process," Griffith said. "It's a little more complicated, but basically you're doing the same thing with technology as you did with paper. Technology changes all the time and we need to change along with it."

Griffith, who is a co-leader with Spilman Thomas & Battle's new electronic discovery practice group, said the electronic discovery process can bring efficiency to cases.

"The process can bring efficiency to a case in terms of cost and time saving because it can help you identify and focus on the most meaningful evidence," Griffith said. "It's not a burdensome process."

Griffith said locally, electronic discovery is not a "front burner" issue, but she is hoping in the future that will change.

"We need to take this process and make it a priority," she said. "Locally, we don't have a lot to rely on, but the AIDE is trying to raise awareness of this issue on that local level."

John Sammons, the Director of the AIDE, said the risks today are too high to not keep up with the changing technology.

"AIDE is here to provide the type of cutting-edge training people need to protect our communities and our companies, as well as serve our clients," Sammons said.

Sammons, an assistant professor in Marshall's Integrated Science and Technology Department, said the legal community struggles to keep up with the flood of technology into society and the AIDE wants to serve the public in a way that helps the legal community keep current with technology and the law.

The conference had speakers from the FBI, Purdue University, AccessData, several law firms, the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute and the West Virginia State Police, among others.

For more information on AIDE, visit

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