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Wake-up call on e-discovery: Morgan Stanley's e-mail fumble hits WSJ p. 1

"This article is noteworthy because it elevates to front page status the issues of managing e-mail in the discovery process," writes Ron Friedmann about today's lead feature story in The Wall Street Journal ("Age of Discovery -- How Morgan Stanley Botched A Big Case by Fumbling E-mails" -- subscription req'd).

Friedmann points out that the court ordered the jury to assume the company helped defraud Perelman, as this CourtTV report indicates:

"On March 23, 2004, Judge Elizabeth Maass issued a punitive ruling that instructed jurors to accept that Morgan Stanley aided in defrauding Sunbeam shareholders, which included Perelman.

"The default judgment prevents Morgan Stanley from refuting or arguing the claim that it committed fraud. Maass issued the ruling after Morgan Stanley failed to turn over e-mail evidence in the case."

Friedmann writes, "Corporate America now stands warned that they have to get discovery right or face serious court sanctions. And the article does not make quite as clear as does the court's decision the dangers of doing 'home grown' e-discovery management." Morgan Stanley's attorney in this case is Mark Hansen. The company's chief legal officer is Donald G. Kempf Jr.

Does e-mail change everything? Joy London recommends a new e-book, "Whither the Legal Web?" that says yes. According to London, the second half of the book, due out in September, will include this chapter: "E-mail Changes Everything."

Posted by Laurel Newby on May 16, 2005 at 03:15 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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