Joseph Coltson is a managing director in the Disputes and Investigations practice. His practice is focused on Global eDiscovery, Forensic Services and Information Security.
Based in Toronto, Joseph has more than 25 years of experience supporting litigation mandates and project management. He has worked on several engagements involving active litigation, internal and external investigations, fraud, arbitrations, tobacco litigation, securities litigation, class actions, Health Care litigation, IP theft, SIRS, Cartel investigations and other complex matters.
Joseph has testified at all levels of court proceedings and has been qualified as an expert witness on a number of occasions in both criminal and civil matters. Joseph is also a seasoned and successful Investigative Interviewer.
Joseph has taught and developed Investigative Interviewing, Data Forensic, eDiscovery, Investigative and Information Security courses and lectures at the University, College and professional levels. Joseph has instructed Crown Attorneys and civil litigators on technological evidence on a number of occasions, and has presented to the Ontario Crown Attorney’s Association on computer forensics.
Prior to Duff & Phelps, Joseph was President and co-founder of Harvester Forensics Ltd. Prior to starting Harvester, Joseph was a Vice President at KPMG, and is a 16 year veteran police officer from the Peel Regional Police with extensive investigative experience, both traditional and technical, having spent nearly five years in Peel’s Technological Crimes Unit.
Joseph earned Master’s Degree from the University of Guelph in Leadership/Management. He holds a number of professional certifications including Certified Forensic Computer Examiner and Certified Electronic Evidence Collection Specialist and is a past President of the High Tech Crimes Investigators Association.
- Counterfeit Ticket Case (National Football League): Joseph assisted the National Football League on a counterfeit ticket matter wherein culprits had generated hundreds of counterfeit tickets for a number of sporting events. Joseph was involved in the collection of data and was tasked with investigating the allegations and locating the data used to generate the tickets.
- Tobacco Litigation: Joseph managed a large, long term eDiscovery engagement. Joseph’s mandate included client support, project management and oversight of the entire eDiscovery engagement. Many of the senior member’s of Joseph’s team also worked on this particular engagement. Joseph and his team successfully collected and managed millions of documents which were hosted for the legal team.
- Competition Bureau Order: acting on behalf of a confidential client to assist in responding to a Competition Bureau Order in which the client was ordered to produce what amounted to close to 2.3TB of information (equivalent to approximately 50,000 boxes of documents). Represented client during a very successful meet and confer with the Competition Bureau. Developed the strategy to effectively cull collected data down to a manageable and meaningful level. Final disclosure was less than 1% of the original collected data-set.
- Anton Piller Order: acting for the plaintiff in a theft of intellectual property claim. Tasked with providing assistance to counsel on the development and subsequent execution of an Anton Pillar order. Resulting seized exhibits were filtered and reviewed through an online review tool provided by Harvester – a number of relevant documents were identified throughout the review.
- Securities Investigation: working for several law firms, representing several different defendants, Joseph managed the eDiscovery process wherein millions of documents were hosted for the various law firms. Joseph was also required as a subject matter expert throughout the engagement liaising between client and the investigating regulatory body.
- $10 Million Anti-Piracy Victory: provided forensic expert services in an anti-piracy licensing matter involving a major Hollywood studio and an alleged former operator of a site dedicated to linking episodes of a successful TV program to which the studio owned the rights. Duff & Phelps was hired by counsel and on behalf of the major Hollywood studio to serve as the forensic technology experts to firstly, assist with the search and seizure pursuant to an Anton Piller Order and, subsequently, to undertake forensic technology analysis and provide an independent opinion for submission to the Court. After conducting an extensive analysis, our experts located the evidence specific to the claims and issued an expert report with the findings to the court. The evidence was monumental in the award of a $10 million default judgment in favor of our client. This marks one of the largest awards of its type - specific to anti-piracy - in Canadian history.
- Large public corporation: Retained to assist the corporate legal team in planning the digital evidence collection in order to mitigate the risks of spoliation and conduct the preliminary review of several computer systems and email servers pursuant to allegations of million dollar kickbacks in government contracts.
- Large Class Action: was retained to assist in the forensic collection of over 3TB of data from various sources including back-up tapes, custodial computers and email servers, and the subsequent culling and review of that data set. Was responsible for developing strategy and over-seeing production of the final review set which was used as disclosure during the litigation.
- eDiscovery Services for Large Litigation: was retained to assist the Canadian division of an international public company conducting retail business. A large scale forensic data collection of some 1.5 terabytes (1.5 TB) of electronic information covering 10 years of backed up data and targeting some 150 users was necessary for the external counsel legal review. The collection process and subsequent processing (extraction, deduplication and conversion) of the harvested electronic information from user computers, servers, emails and restored backups required several months of work.
- Expert Testimony: Joseph has given evidence as an expert witness at various levels of court in both civil and criminal matters.
- Internal Investigation – Government: Retained to support an internal investigation launched by a municipal government entity. Was called upon to develop an investigative approach which involved the location of, and review of relevant documents, provided investigative advice to the client and provided factual report of findings to support termination.
- Training: Developed a Human Resources training course, wherein HR professionals were taught the intricacies of investigative interviewing. Taught to a number of Human Resources departments, this training initiative has empowered organizations to conduct insightful interviews when approaching candidate hiring, internal investigations, human rights and discipline issues.
- Personal Injury Litigation: Retained to add support to a multi-million dollar personal injury litigation in which a number of interviews were conducted in support of the the claim and investigative strategies were developed to assist in discovery.
- Homicide Investigation: Lead tech investigator in high profile homicide case in which the technical evidence presented was integral to obtaining a conviction – qualified as an expert witness during testimony. Unique searches of computer evidence revealed activity conducted on the computer which was particularly damaging to the accused and ultimately led to convictions of multiple parties.
- Certified Forensic Computer Examiner
- Certified Electronic Evidence Collection Specialist
- Master’s Degree from the University of Guelph in Leadership/Management, in Ontario, Canada.
- Eight core Computer Forensic courses from the Canadian Police College.
- Completed a number of investigative and interviewing courses at the Ontario Police College and Canadian Police College.
- Attended course and subsequent 14 month certification process at the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists.
- Completed a number of intermediate and advanced computer forensic analysis and data recovery training courses from Guidance Software in Pasadena, California.
- Completed a number of intermediate and advanced computer forensic analysis and data recovery training courses from Access Data.
- High Tech Crime Investigators Association Annual Conference.