September 1, 2022
I built something someone wants. So, I sold it to them.
When the happenstance came along that I was introduced to the CEO of ArcherHall, a Sacramento-based nationwide provider of litigation support and eDiscovery services, I took it in stride. We had a great call, but I had no expectation that it would blossom into anything. It did, and over several months of discussions we came up with an exciting plan for the future that works well for everyone.
So here’s what’s changing: Not much.
I will continue to serve current and future clients in the role of Director of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery for ArcherHall out of the former Pro Digital office & lab in the West End of Richmond, VA. We have worked very hard to cultivate the relationships with the attorney-clients with whom we work consistently, and it is our goal to continue to foster those relationships for years to come. Professional Digital Forensic Consulting (dba Pro Digital) will cease to exist as a business entity, and I will join ArcherHall. Because ArcherHall has more financial backing and people performing the casework, the analysis work on future cases will have the benefit of a team of experts working on them with expanded capabilities of tools, training, experience, and knowledge. It’s a win-win for our current and future clients.
I will continue to teach as much as possible at the University and private sector levels. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and it’s a great “side-hustle”. This blog may be moving, but it will still exist. There are a few other exciting things on the horizon regarding publications, which I’ll announce on my personal Linked In and personal Twitter feeds. I will stay an active and vocal member of the digital forensic community and hope to be able to contribute more as I will not have the time investment overhead of running a business on a daily basis.
That’s the biggest part that will be changing: The administrative side of running a digital forensic consultancy will largely be removed from my responsibilities. Clients can expect more structure, team-based communication and an overall more immersive and responsive experience from me and ArcherHall.
The natural question that would be posed is “why?” In my multiple conversations and meetings with ArcherHall’s CEO, Chief of Staff and Managing Directors, it became apparent that we share the same approach and values in our role as digital forensic service providers. Those values include integrity, professionalism and a service-based approach forged with an entrepreneurial spirit. These are the core values that Pro Digital’s clients have come to expect and will remain as tenants of our practice moving forward.
I’ll wrap up this blog and personal note by thanking everyone who has helped make this possible. When I registered the LLC for Pro Digital back in 2013, I did so as sort of a lark and a fallback position. A little more than a year later, I left full-time law enforcement work and invested in Pro Digital fully and have been churning it ever since. Every close person in my personal and professional circles has helped make this possible in some way or another, from my ex-wife to my children to my current fiancée. My brother and my sister, both successful business owners who offered so much advice to help get started and stay in business. Experts in other areas of forensic services, including noted authors, other DF entrepreneurs and very smart people in our industry. Mentors at Cellebrite and IACIS and the Virginia State Police and Instructors with the Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service, as well as colleagues from my 2012 BCERT class. If you are reading this, you know who you are, and I am forever grateful for your contributions to the success of Pro Digital and me personally.
In closing, I’d only ask that we, as an industry, always strive to be and do better. I’m not perfect, nor am I the professional ombudsman of the digital forensic service industry. I get educated on areas of improvement regularly and take those lessons in the way they are intended. I can always learn more & do better and am regularly excited to do so. Digital Forensics as an industry can also work toward the standards of constant improvement. Our profession deserves it. Our clients and case stakeholders deserve it. And most importantly, the justice system needs it. Our industry will only grow over the coming decades. It’s incumbent upon all of us to nurture the profession and ensure that it remains a path to the truth in the cases we work.
Patrick J. Siewert
Director of Digital Forensics & eDiscovery
About the Author:
Patrick Siewert was the Founder & Principal Consultant of Pro Digital Forensic Consulting, based in Richmond, Virginia (USA). In 15 years of law enforcement, he investigated hundreds of high-tech crimes to precedent-setting results and continues to support litigation cases and corporations in private digital forensic practice. Patrick is a graduate of SCERS & BCERT and holds several vendor-neutral and specific certifications in the field of digital forensics and high-tech investigation and is a court-certified expert witness in multiple digital forensic areas. He continues to keep in touch with the public safety community as a Law Enforcement Instructor and Adjunct Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Twitter : @RVA4n6
ArcherHall on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/archerhall/
Patrick Siewert on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-siewert-92513445/