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Archives and Electronic Discovery

Electronic information is considered different from paper information because of its intangible form, volume, transience and persistence. Electronic information is usually accompanied by metadata not found in paper documents which can play an important part as evidence (for example the date and time a document was written could be useful in a copyright case). The preservation of metadata from electronic documents creates special challenges to prevent spoliation. Electronic discovery was the subject of amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, effective December 1, 2006. These amendments state that emails requested as evidence in a court case must be provided during the earliest planning stages of a trial. Even if the information is considered privileged, or “not reasonably accessible due to undue burden or cost”, a court may still require that you disclose the sources of the information so they can decide whether you must produce it anyway or provide access to the sources, so the other party can “conduct a sampling” or “inspection” of your organization’s stored data directly. Along with email, ESI also includes voicemail, and data stored and sent from company issued Smartphones and PDAs. These different forms and platforms represent a significant challenge for corporate IT departments who are required to archive this data for use in possible “yet to be revealed” litigation scenarios. This archival procedure also plays a big role in business continuity planning because 70% of companies involved in e-discovery litigation close their doors within one year from the start of litigation. It’s also important to note that the majority of e-discovery litigation is internally instigated due to HR issues such as sexual harassment. It’s a fact that ineffectual archiving procedures will have heavier consequences than the costs incurred to ensure proper archiving methods with an eye on E-Discovery situations. We offer a wide range of options in this area and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your company’s current procedures. Jim Smith
Principal/Founder
MegaNet Communications
Voice | Data | Email | Web | Security]]>

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