ASTM E1020-13e1

Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents that May Involve Criminal or Civil Litigation

1.1 This practice covers guidelines for the collection and preservation of information and physical evidence and the preparation of a documentation report relative to any incident(s) involving personal injury, property damage, commercial loss, or criminal acts which may reasonably be expected to be the subject of litigation.

1.2 The approach outlined is recommended as good professional practice even though the facts and issues of each situation require specific consideration, and may involve matters not expressly dealt with herein. Not every portion of this document may be applicable to every incident or investigation. It is up to the individual preparing the report to apply the appropriate recommended procedures in this guide to a particular incident or investigation. In addition, it is recognized that time and resource limitations or existing policies may limit the degree to which the recommendations in this document will be applied in a given investigation. The responsibility of the individual preparing the report (or anyone who handles or examines evidence) for evidence preservation, and the scope of that responsibility varies based on such factors as the jurisdiction, the status of the individual as a public official or private sector investigator, indications of criminal conduct, and applicable laws and regulations.

1.2.1 This practice does not apply to laboratory analysis reports.

1.2.2 If compliance with this standard is claimed, justifications for any deviations from this standard must be documented.

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