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DALLAS, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesses today operate in an increasingly complex global environment as the digital universe continues to expand exponentially. To meet the corresponding need for qualified specialists to manage and analyze unprecedented amounts of electronic data, the legal education experts at BARBRI now offer certifications in e-discovery and financial crime.
BARBRI recently acquired Verisqil, a Miami-based company that created professional certifications and training programs that set new industry standards for workplace competencies in high-risk fields. The first-of-their-kind Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS™) and Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS™) certifications signify the superior knowledge and skill of professionals while better preparing them for complex jobs and careers in fast-growing industries worldwide.
E-discovery refers to the process by which electronically stored information (ESI) is gathered, stored, reviewed and disclosed in legal disputes, regulatory examinations and other matters. In 2006, the U.S. government amended the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to include formal rules for dealing with electronic discovery and ESI, which include emails, documents, video, social media posts, web content, and voice mail messages and other audio files.
Information technology (IT) research firm International Data Corporation reports there is more than one zettabtye, or one trillion gigabytes, of digital data in the world today. Gartner, another IT market intelligence company, predicts the global e-discovery market will grow by about 15 percent annually, from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $2.9 billion by 2017, as the volume of digital content that must be searched to support increasing litigation and regulatory investigations continues to swell.
"The process of e-discovery is complex due to the sheer numbers and dynamic nature of electronic data, so specialized training and certification are quickly becoming business requirements – especially as legal requirements governing the use and application of ESI become commonplace around the world," said BARBRI Chairman and CEO Stephen Fredette.
The explosion of electronic information, or "big data," also has created compliance challenges for financial institutions. J.P. Morgan and other financial institutions around the world recently have formed global financial crime teams to protect against financial crime. These financial crime specialists are a new breed of compliance, risk and regulatory professionals – many of them attorneys – who deal with crimes that include corruption, tax evasion, fraud, money laundering and sanctions violations.
Sometimes referred to as white-collar crime, financial crime affects individuals, banks, government agencies and many other organizations globally. The losses and the costs of regulation, enforcement and compliance exceed trillions of dollars annually around the world.
Today's law firms, corporate counsel and financial institutions such as banks, securities dealers and insurance companies grapple with finding ways to comply with the growing array of laws and regulations, train their staffs and control the rapidly growing costs associated with both financial crime and e-discovery compliance. Organizations worldwide are searching for talent who understand all aspects of financial crime – not just one component, such as money laundering or fraud. Professionals seeking to distinguish themselves from other job applicants or give their employers a competitive advantage should become certified e-discovery and certified financial crime specialists.
"We have been expanding our services beyond bar review, and these exclusive certifications in emerging fields complement our traditional offerings," said Fredette. "They provide the verification that employers are seeking to confirm employee competence, especially when it comes to jobs in high-risk industries."
Professionals in the government, law enforcement, financial, IT, insurance and other sensitive fields acquire the highly specialized training through the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS, www.aceds.org) and the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS, www.acfcs.org).
ACEDS and ACFCS provide online and live training on the latest industry developments and preparation for the certification exams. Top worldwide experts conduct the courses, which keep specialists' skills sharp and help candidates pass the rigorous tests.
The CEDS examination covers information management, litigation readiness, project planning, litigation holds, collection implementation, document review, data production, project management, legal framework, international discovery, ethics, technology, budgeting, and data processing and culling.
The CFCS certification affirms the competence of public- and private-sector financial crime specialists who work in such areas as fraud, money laundering, corruption and global asset recovery. To earn the certification, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam and meet high qualifications standards. The international credential covers the full spectrum of financial crime, including anti-money laundering, FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), tax evasion, compliance, investigation, data security, ethics, international standards, FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and corruption, and other subjects.
The exams for the CEDS and CFCS credentials, both independent certifications with no ties to any product, professional service or software, are administered at 720 secure testing centers worldwide. Subject matter experts and a leading psychometric testing firm helped develop the e-discovery and financial crime exams to assure their soundness, security and integrity. The process is validated every two years, helping to make the certifications legally defensible.
The global Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development describes the world's economy as "knowledge-based," where electronic data drives productivity and economic growth. In this information society – where analysts estimate there will be more mobile devices than people on Earth by year's end – the CEDS certification is defining a new category of digital experts the global marketplace needs to mitigate electronic security threats that didn't even exist 15 years ago. And, the CFCS certification establishes a baseline of verifiable knowledge and skills that private- and public-sector specialists require to combat financial crime in the 21st century.
BARBRI, Inc., has helped more than 1 million lawyers pass the bar exam and is evolving to meets other legal education needs for a broad spectrum of professionals, including attorneys and individuals in heavily regulated fields. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.BARBRI.com.
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