Six Keys to E-discovery Compliance
Our Lora Bentley lists the key issues you must address when planning an e-discovery strategy.
Given the growing importance of e-discovery, as well as the state of the economy, many companies are choosing to move e-discovery systems and processes in house rather than paying for outside help. Guidance Software's Amanda Berger told me recently:
In the last 8 months to a year we've started seeing a lot of requests from ... companies that wanted us to come in and help them figure out how to manage both the organization and their data to really create consistent policies and procedures that can be run out of one central area any time they have litigation or other kinds of discovery needs.
The first step in doing that is making sure everyone who needs to be involved gets a seat at the table: legal, network security, someone who specializes in internal governance, someone who can act as a liaison between the e-discovery team and the rest of the business, and sometimes even a representative from human resources - as well as any outside consultants that are working on the project. "It's very cross-functional," Berger said.
Then begins the process of creating and documenting the policies and processes that can be put into action "universally" - no matter what kind of litigation the company is facing or what regulatory request comes down the pipe. "Consistency really is the key to defensibility," according to Berger. However, because the law is always changing, the policy documentation really needs to be a living, breathing work, so to speak.
That's why it's important to have someone on the team who is dedicated to tracking the changes and ensuring the policies stay up to date. More often than not, there are one or two attorneys who are dedicated to the e-discovery services team, Berger told me. They not only help to make sure the policies stay up to date, but they're also right there to ensure that those doing document collections for various cases have what they need legally to carry them out.