E-Discovery Headaches Not Yet Easing

Lora Bentley

A year after they were adopted, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressing discovery of electronically stored information are still a pain to many IT departments, according to a Computerworld story published Monday. The problem isn't that the new rules require companies to keep more information than they were before. The problem is that companies, and IT departments in particular, now have to locate what they do have quickly and be able to produce it as evidence.


Howard Nirken, a partner at Austin law firm DuBois, Bryant & Campbell says:

[FRCP] has made their lives incredibly complicated. IT is now responsible for immediately locating electronic files that can exist just about anywhere -- in networks, in people's personal computers [or] on any electronic media you can imagine.

The new rules have resulted in increased spending on e-discovery systems and archiving solutions as well, the story says. According to IDC analyst Laura DuBois, sales of such solutions will jump from $631 million last year to $1.37 billion in 2011.


And the news is not all bad. Take the experience of the Village of Niles, Ill., for example. Computerworld reports:

[T]he revised rules led city officials to decree that all e-mails to and from city offices are official documents and subject to legal review. That policy change quickly eased the city's e-mail storage and management burden by reducing the number of nonbusiness e-mails that pass through its systems, MIS director Bill Shaw said. "It's had a reduction in our e-mail and an increase in productivity," he noted.

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Jan 9, 2008 11:15 AM Peterk Peterk  says:
I can fully understand why the revised FRCP rules are causing a headache for the IT World. For years the IT community didn't want to understand how records management policies, procedures and requirements apply to the IT world. Records management professionals have been dealing with the world of discovery for years and have tried warning their IT colleagues that many of the IT procedures were going to cause problems. A classic example is retaining hundreds of backup tapes and using DR tapes as a means to retain inactive records. (I refuse to use the term 'archive' because that has a specific meaning in the world of records management that is the opposite of the IT meaning). Now the IT community is being forced to learn that it is the content of that counts and not media or format that the record is maintained on. We retain records based upon their content not their media. look up ISO-15489anyway if you are an IT person and would like to learn more about records management and how it can help you solve your electronic records problems check out ARMA International http://www.arma. org. It is the professional association for records managers. Also check out http://www.icrm.org which is the website for the Institute of Certified Records Managers. Reply

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