Melissa Brown, a colleague of Ferroli's at Dykema, recalled a securities case she handled that involved 800,000 e-mails.
"Every little e-mail is a sheet of paper, and if you have to print them all, it's an enormous volume of things to go through," she said.
What’s a company to do? First, realize that keeping the data around is not the risk. It’s time to wake up and realize that ignorance is no longer tolerable
What specific steps should you initially take? First, STOP using the laptop because any use of the computer may damage or taint potential evidence. Second, do not allow any internal staff, IT or otherwise, to conduct a preliminary investigation, regardless how technically skilled they may be. Third, secure the computer and keep a detailed log of who had access to it on the dates in question. Fourth, contact a certified computer forensics specialist to determine immediate next steps based upon your specific circumstances. Fifth, be prepared for litigation and engage appropriate legal representation.