As more of our interactions and exchanges occur through email and online, the amount of electronically stored information (ESI) has the potential to fill multiple courtrooms. Navigating through all that information not only takes a long time, but also can become very costly. The following are some suggested steps for managing the ESI process to keep both time and cost down.
Counsel must begin preserving all potentially relevant evidence, including ESI, as soon as they learn of a lawsuit or arbitration, or else face the prospect of sanctions. From this point forward, in-house counsel should be concerned with the cost in both time and money of obtaining the relevant information, the protection of the confidentiality of important business information and trade secrets, and the cost of outside counsel’s involvement with such information. In most alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, ESI is indispensable in resolving the matter by agreement and/or decision.