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Some Shocking Discoveries About Electronic Data Discovery

Over at his EDD Blog Online, Jeff Fehrman shares some shocking discoveries about companies' existing understanding of, and compliance with electronic data discovery (EDD) requirements.  Fehrman says that forty percent of corporate counsel believe that their companies were not prepared when the revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on e-discovery came into effect last December, according to a recent study by LexisNexis.  And indeed, the lack of familiarity with e-discovery requirements is so acute that a new study shows that one in five businesses have opted to settle a lawsuit to avoid the costly and time-consuming task of recovering and producing e-mail as required by the FRCP's e-discovery rules.

Given that failure to implement procedures to enable compliance with e-discovery is leading businesses to settle cases that they might have otherwise fought, what are the barriers to getting up to speed on e-discovery?   The recent LexisNexis survey cites several challenges, including finding a budget to put systems in place, getting a "buy-in" from upper management on the importance of litigation preparedness and finding e-discovery staff with the right mix of IT and legal expertise.  But some corporations are moving forward.  At this time, 82 percent of survey respondents reported that their company has a document retention policy, two-thirds said they have implemented a formal legal holds process and more than 40 percent said they have conducted employee training for compliance this year. Twenty five percent of companies have hired an e-discovery counsel or ESI (electronically stored information) coordinator.

If your clients aren't up to speed on e-discovery or you need to brush up yourself, it's not too late.  Take a look at this overview of EDD and how to step right in by Craig Ball in Law Technology News or visit some of the many blogs that my colleague, Bob Ambrogi identified in this column on e-discovery blogs.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 29, 2007 at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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