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E-mail Litigation Hold in Local Government

September 16, 2008

E-mail Litigation Hold in Local Government

Wright’s Legal Beagle, September 9, 2008

Anyone who has ever been forced to disclose electronic records in court is probably well aware that litigation brings out the good and bad of your records retention policies. In other words, companies often times aren’t aware of their faults until they are highlighted in front of a judge who can easily discredit your Electronically Stored Information regulations based upon what you’re able to bring to the table.

“Courts judge records management decisions retrospectively, in other words, with 20/20 hindsight. Judges evaluate a party’s record retention and destruction practices after they have been implemented.”

Some of these hiccups may be attributed to poor delegation. According to this article, many companies put their own employees in charge of retaining and storing records for potential litigation suits down the road. However, because many employees aren’t trained to handle ESI (and why should they be unless it’s part of their job description?), many companies are often forced to dig up backup tapes, a task that is often costly and time-consuming.

To successfully avoid this, companies are encouraged to develop a central corporate standard that takes the responsibility off their employees’ shoulders. In the end, not only will your colleagues benefit, but also you and your legal team.

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