Once a company decides to commit to a disciplined information management program, there is not a great deal of difference between publicly traded and private concerns. One of the things we do for a diverse group of clients is the Enterprise Information Map . This tool permits the organization to really understand the information it has, which business processes are supported by which information systems, where the resulting and/or required information resides, and the form it takes. Certainly an organization that must report to the SEC needs to know these things, but so must a private company responding to litigation or an investigation. Any enterprise seeking to remain competitive must have a handle on the nature, extent and location of its information; at a time when a company's intellectual property may be its most important asset, this imperative is only going to increase in importance.
Discovery rules in general assume the existence of stable, centralized data. The advent of mobile computing introduces ever-expanding decentralization of data.
The laws are clear that that burden is on organizations to act consistently and take the reasonable steps – technology can help with both. It ensures consistency (and reports on it) and the courts know what technology is capable of and want organizations to deploy it (and in fact find it unreasonable when they don’t).
Last month, for the first time, friends of mine who do NOT work in the legal industry starting talking to me about e-discovery. In the past, they had always taken on the glazed look of a bored 8th-grader whenever I spoke about what I do. But suddenly, they were strangely interested and full of questions. The reason was two articles about e-discovery in the mainstream media which appeared within a week of each other.
What are the five most important questions that any organization should ask of vendors before signing the contract?
1.Project management skills.
2. Depth of experience
4. Comprehensible pricing.
— Browning Marean*
Partner, DLA Piper
The factor that more than any other drives corporations to spend more on litigation is fear of privilege waiver. To prevent waiver, attorneys must examine each document in an expensive process known as a preproduction privilege review. Not surprisingly, given the burgeoning sizes of data sets, this process has turned into an electronic tsunami.