By Jan Levine
Chief Technology Officer, Kaulkin Information Systems
As a result of the new changes in Federal rules approved by the Supreme Court, it is more important than ever to know where all your electronic documents are stored and be able to deliver them upon request. The ruling took effect in December and clarifies the requirements for discovery of electronic documents in lawsuits. There are some ramifications to these new rules:
- Companies need an electronic inventory system to identify what and where electronic documents are stored.
- Companies with poorly organized or inaccessible files may be forced to settle lawsuits in order to avoid the costs of electronic discovery.
- If your standard process is to reuse backup computer tape, you could be found guilty of ‘virtual shredding’ once a lawsuit is filed.
- You may be held liable for failure to produce employee e-mails and other electronic documents in court.
Your attorney can advise you how to mitigate your firm’s exposure to risk as a result of this ruling. The ACA recommends that a good first step is to develop and enforce a policy for how and where your electronic documents, emails, and other electronic data are stored.
For more information:
- “New rules make firms track e-mails, IMs,” MSNBC story
- “New Federal Court Rules Impact Storage of Electronic Records,” ACA News Link Article
- "E-Discovery Amendments and Committee Notes” (PDF), U.S. Court Amendments Approved by the Supreme Court – Submitted to Congress (April 2006)
Jan Levine is the primary architect of KIS Track, an online document management, workflow, and email archiving system If you are investigating solutions for secure and permanent storage of email and other electronic documents, please contact Jan at 203-855-8996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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