E-discovery: Companies must understand the international problem

Unique considerations in U.S. litigation for information stored abroad

By now most U.S.-based companies are becoming more comfortable with the e-discovery drill. 

Issue a litigation hold when litigation becomes foreseeable, then collect, process, review and produce the data to the other side as necessary to comply with the court’s discovery obligations. Maybe not simple, and definitely not cheap, but at least the obligations and procedures have become clear over the past decade as the rules and case law developed. That is, unless companies face the international problem.

Depending on the laws of a specific country, this could quite possibly be one of the rare legal problems with no elegant solution. Companies in this situation may well have to face the Hobson’s choice of either not producing the data in the U.S. litigation, and being defaulted, or producing the data in violation of another country’s law.

So what is the responsible international corporate citizen to do?

Contributing Author

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Alvin Lindsay

Alvin F. Lindsay is a partner specializing in complex commercial litigation at the Miami office of Hogan Lovells US. He frequently writes and speaks on...

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