For years, the e-discovery industry has discussed various strategies for bridging the gap between IT and legal for handling litigation and corporate investigations involving electronically stored information. Corporations have become increasingly savvy about proactively addressing the challenges that arise when legal and IT must collaborate for the collection, processing and analysis of electronic data. And while the process has become more efficient, the partnership between these two groups often begins and ends with the various e-discovery matters at hand, abandoning opportunities for strategic planning that could even further eliminate complexity and reduce cost.
Building an effective relationship between IT and legal can pay dividends over the course of e-discovery matters. Effective coordination between legal and IT seems simple, but often there are numerous misconceptions about how the other group operates. How long are backup tapes REALLY kept? Could IT systems inadvertently destroy data that needs to be kept? Is it necessary to use special tools when making copies of data for litigation? Who is responsible for storing all of the data for litigation? These are just a few of the questions that IT and legal need to coordinate on to effectively implement a litigation hold strategy.
Any policy that calls for deleting data should be examined through the perspective of a judge for reasonableness. Policies are very helpful for justifying to the court why data isn’t available. However, if the rule is unreasonable, the judge may not always accept the explanation.