eDiscovery – Where do you start?

Robert J.Ambrogi, resent posting in Law Technology News deserves your attention. eDiscovery has rapidly moved from buzz word to standard operating procedure. Mr Ambrogi kindly highlights some of best resources available on the subject, plus adds some insight to the offerings.

Flip side of the coin is Attorney Ralph Losey @ eDiscovery Team where he highlights the nightmare your about too enter……

“…survey shows 40% of organizations do not include electronic records in their retention schedules…”.

Nice to know after you figure out where and what eDiscovery is, you’ll be lucky to apply this new knowledge.

This breakdown starts with the fundamental concept of having a Retention/Destruction Policy in place. Not only the documentation but the on-going monitoring and enforcement.

IS/IT departments have for years been listening to storage vendors in preparation for these developments. Creating policies that basically address the need of compliance without Legal review. Truthfully enough Legal did not have the tools to interject any input.

We would like to echo Mr Losey’s position and his firm’s effort at changing this. Of course your asking for independent departments too submit to oversight from another and that culture clash was established way before the company even had 100 employees. But it has too be addressed, tackled and challenged.

A company subjected too Regulatory compliance must open their eyes an involve counsel. Counsel needs to take the position as referee when addressing these departmental heads. Taking the approach of enhancing current policies for the benefit of the company without retaining any ownership in the process.

One of the first and most important questions that needs mentioning on a daily basis – “Is the Retention/Destruction Policy Current?” Again emphasis is placed on the fact these policies were written by NON-Legal people, whose only goal was having something in place by directive. Enforcement brings a whole new challenge.

Having asked some of my own clients CEO’s, COO’s: … if you got involved with a Law suit that requires litigation, how is this approached? Astonished, the over all answer was pass it to the legal department . When we asked the same question of CIO’s, IS heads: “.. that is the nightmare scenerio we don’t plan for, hopefully legal won’t place a huge burden on us…”

eDiscovery has opened the doors too a whole new realm of opportunities for Law firms. Since marketing is never been a strong point, we suggest you venture the path of addressing “Retention/Destruction Policies”. The growing number of compliance issues facing companies today is your benefit.

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