ASTM E1020 - 13e1

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

    Active Standard ASTM E1020 | Developed by Subcommittee: E30.11

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    Significance and Use

    3.1 This practice is intended to provide a complete written account of the case at hand in such a fashion as to allow another individual to interpret the particulars of the incident.

    3.2 This practice is suggested for documenting transitory conditions and data that may change shortly after an incident and be lost forever if not properly and promptly documented.

    3.3 The primary use of this practice is to preserve pertinent information for use by technical experts and other technical personnel who may be called upon to reconstruct the events surrounding the incident.

    1. Scope

    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.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E620 Practice for Reporting Opinions of Scientific or Technical Experts

    E1459 Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.200 (Accident and disaster control)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E1020-13E01

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