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June 9, 2008

Lessons in e-Discovery

Remember the scandal over text messages sent by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick?  Those were messages sent to a paramour, another city employee, via city-owned hand held.  Aside from being personally dangerous to a career, the lessons were repeated recently at the Midwest Technology Leaders Conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit.  Speakers at the conference used the incident to remind people that electronic evidence is quite discoverable under the Federal Rules.  This includes data on all of the company hard drives, back-up systems, thumb drives, and everything else that can store official communications.  Voicemail is increasingly stored in unified mailboxes, so committing something to a phone call doesn't always escape the discovery purview.  The conclusion, destroy all material not necessary to be kept for business purposes, as long as it is not the subject of (potential) litigation.

More on this from the Detroit Free Press.  See also this story on how inadvertent disclosure of electronic documents led to a waiver of attorney client privilege in another case.  The same case is discussed in the ABA Journal.  The subject opinion in the case of Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., et al. (MJG-06-2662, District of Maryland) is here.  There is this story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Network World offers 10 tips for moving e-discovery into the enterprise, and another from the Wisconsin Technology Network on e-discovery as it relates to unified communications.  Xerox Litigation Services ran a survey on corporate preparedness.  For some, their internal systems are not ready for compliance.

June 9, 2008 | Permalink


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