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Growing Interest in the FRCP

December 17, 2007

Growing Interest in the FRCP

The Osterman Research Blog, December 14, 2007

We’re hearing more and more these days about companies who have faced severe sanctions for failure to comply with the e-discovery amendments. As we mentioned in an earlier post, Morgan Stanley paid $15 million in 2006 for neglecting to save emails. But they’re not the only company in the news for e-discovery blunders. Wachovia and Bank of America were also recently fined for not properly complying with the rules.

Michael Osterman has some solid takeaways from this growing number of e-discovery violations:

  • “While most of the judgments so far have focused on violations of regulations in the financial services space, FRCP will have a much bigger impact for one simple reason: it applies to virtually all companies that might be involved in litigation in the Federal courts. When individual states impose their own version of FRCP, the stakes will get dramatically higher.
  • Bottom line: establish good data retention practices and keep your business records that are contained in email and in your other electronic data stores. Failure to do so will hurt.”

Well said, Michael. We’d emphasize that the ability to prove the integrity of electronic records is an essential part of this mix as well (as it is a critical component of ensuring the admissibility of electronic records), but Michael knows that as well.

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