Could E-Discovery Make You Go Back To Paper?

I discovered a new e-discovery blog today that I’ve added to the blogroll – E-Discovery Bytes from the Quarles & Brady LLP law firm.

Their post “The Problem of Reviewing Electronic Data” caught my eye because it pointed to a ComputerWorld story entitled “Security Manager’s Journal: E-Discovery Prompts a Second Look at Data Retention.” I always perk up when I see an e-discovery story from a non-legal-related source.

The ComputerWorld story records the struggle of a IT security manager (who could be from any company) in comprehending how legal rules written by and for lawyers could have such a profound effect on his every day activities. The only way he heard about the rules was because the general counsel at his company attended a dinner sponsored by an e-discovery vendor.

The story reveals the tortuous balancing act that so many IT professionals have to face when deciding how much data to save. On one hand, you have to backup employee e-mail for disaster recovery and business continuity. On the other hand, this requires ever-increasing storage space and heightens the possibility that you’ll have to expend enormous effort and time to produce relevant e-mails when the company is involved in litigation.

For some IT managers (including the author of the ComputerWorld article), dealing with e-discovery might just drive them to “turn back the technological clock:”

“For paper information, it’s simple: Point the lawyers to the file cabinets and tell them to have a good time.”

Link to story.