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Determining when to dispose of data and reducing review costs

Synopsis Part 1: Electronic Discovery: Legal counsel’s mood and can we handle blogs and wikis?

Synopsis Part 2: Educating IT and Legal on legal risk management

Synopsis Part 3: Determining when to dispose of data and reducing review costs

data discovery interview –  James “Jim” K. Wagner Jr., CEO and Co-Founder, DiscoverReady LLC, (Part 3 of 4)

Jim Wagner is a co-founder of DiscoverReady LLC, a national provider of
integrated discovery management services, and is a frequent public
speaker on best practices for effectively gathering and reviewing
electronic discovery.  Jim is responsible for many of DiscoverReady’s
strategic initiatives, including the development of its
industry-leading PrivBank™ application and its progressive i-Decision™
process. (more)

By Joshua Konkle writing for

Joshua Konkle: 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?

Jim Wagner: The legal (but somewhat impractical) issue is pretty straightforward here—what industry you’re in will determine the regulatory and legal requirements for you.  Since relatively few industries are subjected to substantial regulatory/legal requirements for preservation, the question of retention of most records is, often, a balance between the benefit of end user access, aka knowledge management, contrasted against the burdens of data retention expense and potential legal production obligations. 

Joshua Konkle: So, in your opinion there is a trade-off triangle made up of “benefit of access, burdens of retention and production obligations?”

Jim Wagner: Yes, if you reduce your retention you affect both user access and legal production.  Many companies will retain data for end user access, not realizing they are creating a legal risk in terms of collection, preservation, review and finally production.  Approaching the question “how long do I have to keep my data?” with the mindset of user access, burden of data retention and legal production obligations will drive the discussions to closure.  In today’s legal business process management environment, retention models are often disconnected from the business workflows in the company.

Joshua Konkle: There appears to be some gap between what legal teams require to support eDiscovery and the capabilities available today in data management technology.  What advice do you have as a vendor trying to assist their clients in addressing litigation readiness and review costs challenges?

Jim Wagner: Regardless of what any software or other vendor suggests, there is no single application today that is going to address eDiscovery from information management through to production, according to the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM),

So here are DiscoverReady’s tips:

  • Learn about, but limit your exposure to immature products and technologies–they may be ready in time, but you don’t have time to be their proving ground
  • Avoid buying any application until you have successfully used it on a number of matters – start with low profile matters or old case data first
  • Beware of making a long-term commitment (beyond 3 years) to any single application, as the technology in the space is evolving rapidly. 
  • If you can, use a product “on demand” without paying a huge premium rather than buying a large and long-term license. 
  • Make sure that the applications you use have good training manuals, sufficient release notes, and overall quality release programs.  Large user groups are also helpful.  Above all, use commercial off the shelf (COTS) software.
  • Do not, however, believe everything you read–good or bad–as we have seen unsophisticated users posting messages at user group sites spread some very unreliable and inaccurate information.

you would like to communicate with Jim directly, he can be reached at
info(at) or by calling DiscoverReady at 1 212 699 3960. publishes interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews.


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