File metadata (e.g. creation date, last modified, etc) is generally a matter of the file system, and can thus be modified using various software tools. In fact, some filesystems don't even track creation date (e.g. ext3 on linux tracks ctime, which is actually an inode change time). The metadata that is tracked will also vary from filesystem to filesystem - some filesystems will allow tracking of last access time, last modified, etc.
The ease of changing this "creation time" (or last modified, last accessed, etc) may vary from file system to file system, but in general, these timestamps are not 100% reliable.
I would imagine in a courtroom environment, one party would try to suggest the last modified times are good due to the user being of a certain ability, other file times matching, etc, while the opposing party would try an point out that file times can be faked. It's unclear to me which side would succeed in convincing a judge or jury as to what likely happened, unless a "smoking gun" of sorts is found that shows inconsistencies with the timestamps (e.g. two files created on the same date have wildly varying dates, or copies of the file were emailed before the supposed creation date, etc).
I'm not aware of any hardware methodologies to track modifications.