Sunday, September 3, 2006
Article in Computerworld -- Electronic Discovery: Managing the Unmanageable; Concrete and common-sense steps that you and your IT team can take to effectively manage the size and cost of e-discovery, by Benjamin R. Barnett of Dechert:
The e-mail or voice-mail message has a familiar and ominous tone: "This is
(insert name of in-house counsel here) from the law department. It looks like
there may be some litigation involving (insert product name). We don't have a
copy of the complaint (or subpoena) yet, but we know we are going to have a
pretty tight deadline for responding, and we will need to coordinate with your
IT department. You may receive a call from (insert name of law firm you have
never heard of before) in the next couple of days to discuss what we need to do
in terms of data preservation and our response. If you have any questions, please
call or shoot me an e-mail. Thanks very much and have a good day."
And so it begins. It will not be a good day. This message may be the call to arms
in an electronic discovery battle that may materially affect your IT plans, projects,
personnel and budget.
The critical qualifier is "may." The legal press is chock-full of articles, written by
lawyers for lawyers, about how to manage e-discovery. Missing has been straightforward
guidance for CIOs about their e-discovery management role. I hope to fill this gap by
providing concrete and common-sense steps that you and your IT team can take to
ffectively manage the size and cost of e-discovery. The first step in this process is
to understand some of the e-discovery rules of engagement.