E-discovery and archiving
Companies around the world continue to struggle to respond to legal requests when it comes to electronic discovery (e-discovery). The end result has included fines, sanctions, reputation damage and embarrassment and in some cases, increasing the organisation’s profile as a potential litigation target.
The sheer volume of electronically stored information is presenting a number of challenges to organisations, in particular, around the areas of archiving, legal hold and e-discovery. Whilst many organisations struggle with present day response to discovery requests, we are seeing a growing recognition for the need to be proactive, better prepared and ‘litigation ready’.
Larger organisations have started developing e-discovery strategies and are investing in archiving technologies that will help cope with e-discovery requests to ensure a cost-effective, timely and defensible response. This will inevitably increase operational costs for the business. However, it is difficult to quantify the cost savings arising from the organisation’s ability to better respond down the track. On the other hand, smaller businesses, with less sophisticated technologies and methods for responding to e-discovery requirements, may at times be at a disadvantage in the competitive world of litigation.
Then comes the quandary of how long should information be kept for. And how much of the information retained is really necessary. Emerging particularly from the US is the ‘defensible deletion’ mindset. Software vendors are taking the same technology and approach once used to help find ‘relevant documents’ in response to a court order, to organisations, to now help them find ‘irrelevant documents’ that may not need to be retained.
With clear and focussed attention to these issues, organisations will be able to avoid being caught out with what will be continued exponential growth of electronically stored information, from both an operational and legal response perspective.
Director l Deloitte Forensic
Tel: +61 3 9671 7493