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Lawyers Still Unprepared for E-Discovery

A new study released by Océ Business Services finds that 39 percent of in-house attorneys and 57 percent of law firm attorneys believe that their companies and clients are not prepared to comply with discovery requests under the 2006 version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Surprisingly, companies are not deficient solely in e-discovery, but also in preparedness for production of paper discovery. Many companies -- 42 percent -- still lack internal e-discovery processes, though two thirds of those plan to establish procedures within the next six to 12 months.

Apparently, the greatest obstacle to compliance isn't technology, but rather, a need for a change in mindset. Most companies still do not "get the message" about the importance of records management and are more likely to make changes only in response to a disaster rather than adopt a proactive approach.

Of course, as this post from Information Week suggests, companies have reason to start reacting now. Last week, McAfee ran into various discovery problems in the midst of a stock options backdating trial, while back in January, Qualcomm was hit with an $8.5 million penalty for botching discovery of e-mail in a patent suit. These types of troubles should give companies sufficient incentive to get moving on e-discovery systems sooner rather than later.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 23, 2008 at 02:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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