Regardless of how one approaches an eDiscovery project, having processes and tools in place to help guide you through the EDRM (electronic discovery reference model) are critical elements that influence how effective an eDiscovery project will be. Data retention policies, access to outside resources, and technology are all critical components to have in place in order to successfully complete an eDiscovery. Yet an equally important question that organizations need to answer is how reliable is the information they discovered in their eDiscovery? Or, better put, how do they move from a faith-based approach of eDiscovery where they assume they have all of the information that they need to a fact-based approach where they have confidence that all of is the information found during the eDiscovery is accurate and defensible in court?
Category: Kazeon Systems Inc
There are many factors that guide a company’s approach to eDiscovery. But knowing which ones matter – and which ones don’t – continue to be a source of frustration as companies grapple with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and how best to respond to an eDiscovery request. Two areas of immediate importance that plague companies are how best to take responsibility for the results of an eDiscovery request and then control the costs associated with the eDiscovery. And without any easy answers and growing costs for outsourced eDiscovery, more companies are examining at the merits and cost-savings of an in-place eDiscovery
Understanding legal hold and how to best approach this difficult topic can lead to a failure of the electronic discovery process for a company and put a company at considerable risk if it does not retain critical documents needed to answer an FRCP request.
Presidential Records Act Provides Guidance to Understanding How to Preserve Documents for Today’s Legal Holds
In 1978 the Presidential Records Act (PRA) was passed which fundamentally changed the landscape of Presidential records by moving them from a classification of personal information to the public domain. The PRA is explicit in describing that retention of records created by the President of the United States as well as the Vice President is the responsibility of the President. The PRA guides the President in how records should be handled and guides the steps in the proper destruction of records and how they are retained to comply with this federal statute.
Responding to an eDiscovery request is definitely not a task that most enterprise organizations eagerly anticipate. But the pain of an eDiscovery is often a result of poorly written or non-existent internal policies and procedures. An organization that takes the time to put internal policies and procedures in place may not only avoid this scenario but also lower its overall cost of doing an eDiscovery.
eDiscovery is a focus in numerous DCIG blog entries. DCIG analysts have previously examined what laws are prompting the need for companies to perform eDiscoveries, keys to selecting the right eDiscovery solution and why recent Wall Street scandals foretell the need for companies to prepare for expanded eDiscovery requirements going forward as more government regulations seem almost certain to emerge. But an eDiscovery request is not a task that a company necessarily needs to dread. Rather, by establishing and putting in place best practices and procedures now, an organization can take much of the uncertainty out of an eDiscovery request and even use the looming threat of eDiscovery requests as motivation to lower an organization’s cost of performing eDiscoveries.
A SearchStorageChannel.com article that appeared in early 2008 estimated the cost of outsourced eDiscovery at about $1500 per gigabyte. While those costs may sound high, they are justifiable when a company factors in the need for qualified personnel to search, access and retrieve data securely and authoritatively as part a legal eDiscovery. However these same costs can quickly become untenable for enterprise companies that need to access and search terabytes if not petabytes of information. Therefore it is not surprising that more enterprise companies are exploring the option of performing eDiscoveries in-house to minimize these litigation costs.
If compliance and eDiscovery were not already on the radar screen of every business prior to this current financial crisis, they better show up there pretty quickly. History tells us that anytime there is a financial crisis, more government regulations emerge that call for more visibility into corporate data stores and shorter time frames in which to produce requested information. But as Congress starts to have hearings and draft new legislation in response to this crisis, a question that companies need to answer now is who will pay for the technologies that they need to comply and which line item on whose budget should pay for it?
Socha-Gelbmann’s recent decision to drop rankings from its annual eDiscovery survey was met with relief by some vendors but now the bigger decision that faces Socha-Gelbmann is how to evolve its eDiscovery survey from here. As pointed out in a previous blog, questions about how they arrived at their conclusions in the survey as well as the scope of the survey and the size of the analyst firm performing the survey were becoming more common place. But it’s easy to criticize a report. The tough part is making suggestions as to how the report needs to evolve going forward to make sure it reflects the changing nature of the eDiscovery software space.
The Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery survey will continue but its rankings are gone. The announcement that was recently posted on Socha Consulting’s blog that it is killing its ranking that made up a component of its annual survey since its inception caused a small stir among the vendors covered in the report. However apparently very few vendors shed any tears over Socha-Gelbmann’s decision to drop these rankings from its annual report, even among those it benefited.