Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

(Some) Lawyers to IT: You guys deal with ESI, please.

Posted by rjbiii on November 2, 2008

An increasing number of attorneys are looking at IT departments and telling them its their job to develop and enforce policies on handling ESI, and Andrew Conry-Murray says that’s a good thing. In an article for Information Week, Mr. Conry-Murray cites a survey indicating that rising numbers of attorneys who have decided that IT owns the issue. Why is that a positive sign? From the article:

[T]he discovery problem is so complex, on both the technological and legal fronts, that IT and legal must acknowledge they need each other to manage it correctly. This survey indicates a growing recognition of IT’s critical role in an enterprise’s litigation preparedness.

Courts want to see discovery processes that are policy-driven, consistent, repeatable, and defensible (i.e., that the company has clear justifications for how it handles discovery). IT has the technological tools and the experience in driving repeatable processes and can apply them to the discovery effort — with input from legal to make sure discovery efforts meet case law precedents and withstand the scrutiny of opposing counsel.

A favorite past-time of mine is to look at how legal requirements are “mapped” to technological processes, and I find this terrain, viewed as something of a grey area between the legal and tech groups, to be the place where the ball is most often lost.

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