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Educating Legal and IT, difficult questions for CIOs and intelligent collection

Synopsis Part 1: Forensic acquisition of blogs, bridging the legal and IT gap with synchronized policies
Synopsis Part 2: Educating Legal and IT, difficult questions for CIOs and intelligent collection

data discovery interview – Jamie Berry, Director of Litigation Consulting at Thomson West, (Part 2 of 2)

Berry is a director in Thomson West’s Baker Robbins and Co. litigation
consulting practice. Berry previously worked at LECG. He also served as
the national director for client services at Merrill Legal Solutions
and the litigation support manager for the East Region of DLA Piper.

By Joshua Konkle writing for

Joshua Konkle: How do you educate the IT people on important legal concepts?

Jamie Berry: The IT group must understand the consequences of not including legal when making decisions on technologies that would affect spoliation and adverse inferences.  Therefore, we want them to setup a task force composed of security, storage, records management and legal, at a minimum.

Then we want them to understand the preservation of meta-data and data from a legal perspective.  This is not just a copy, but making sure that any data that is created is preserved.  It is critical they have an effective process in place to capture all data, such as audit logs.

Finally, we want them to understand that tools need to be evaluated based on what legal needs to do and not just cost and feature set of each tool.  Take archiving systems as an example, some clients made the decision to have users use PSTs, versus expanding the storage on Exchange, via native storage or third-party storage management tools.  This appeared reasonable at first, but in the end it creates a distributed mess of millions of emails with no capability to prevent deletions.

Joshua Konkle: How do you educate legal counsel on IT?

Jamie Berry: We try to help our clients understand as much about IT data storage as it is required to make quantitative and qualitative decisions about their case.  We are also helping them understand the difference between technology solutions; a good analogy is the difference between a sprinkler system and individual extinguishers for fire suppression.

One of the most frequently asked questions by CIO’s and others worried about the cost of data management is “how long do I have to keep my data, really?”  What do you say when you get asked that question?

In terms of litigation hold, they need to keep that data until the hold is lifted.  For example, we had one client that was holding all data for 60,000 email users over three years.  They did not need to retain email for all 60,000 users; instead they just needed to keep email from a managed list of custodians.  It’s critical that companies have a technology or archive in place to hold data for specific custodians.  More broadly, we tell them they need to understand the information captured within their data.  There are multiple technologies to help them understand the information.  We can recommend products from Index Engines, Iron Mountain/Stratify, PSS Systems and Clearwell Systems, as examples.

Joshua Konkle: What is causing the need for intelligent preservation/collection by the corporation?

Jamie Berry: Conclusively, the amount of data that moves from collection into review is increasing review times and consequentially budgets.  Corporations that have complex IT environments and regular litigation are in the highest need category for technologies to affect intelligent preservation and collection.  Traditionally doing this work has been referred to as “early case assessment”, but with data volumes increasing, it’s getting nigh impossible to do this without some far reaching solution incorporation these five key tenants; Store, Index, Cull, Early Case Assessment and Litigation Hold Tracking Reports.  Those systems need to manage and preserve data on hold and integrate with communication and digital identity systems for notification.

you would like to communicate with him directly, he can be reached at
Jamie.Berry(at) or by calling Thomson West at 1
800.328.9378. publishes interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews or sign up for the feed.


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