Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

To delete, or not to delete…

Posted by rjbiii on September 17, 2007

Techlinks has posted a summary of a brief by Ronald Stay and Thad Barnes of Stites & Harbison with the title “Should I keep every e-mail and document, just in case?“:

Since the highly-publicized demise of Arthur Anderson, reports of businesses facing severe legal sanctions for destroying documentation and deleting data that could be relevant to future litigation have instilled caution, even fear, in corporate boardrooms. The computer age and transition to a paperless society have seen an exponential growth and rapid accumulation of electronically-stored information, including email, data files and digital documents, raising issues for businesses concerned with regulatory compliance and record keeping. Without a crystal ball to predict litigation, are businesses obligated to retain and store every single document and email?

They answer with the only practical answer available: no. They state:

It is neither reasonable nor necessary for a party to preserve every byte of data or backup tape (unless a tape is the only source of relevant data).

They continue with a brief rundown of some practical steps that might minimize the chance of deleting yourself into litigation oblivion, although the general nature of the recomendations may leave the needy reader’s hunger for more substantive fare unsated.

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One Response to “To delete, or not to delete…”

  1. […] September 25th, 2007 We’ve already posted once about the difficulty in deciding when it is appropriate to delete e-mails. But that article was written from the corporate perspective. Think, then, how much more difficult […]

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