Because of the continuing complexity of cases involving e-discovery, legal teams are required to work closely with colleagues throughout the organization. IT must be collaborated with in collecting data, and must interface with e-discovery software or service providers. Records Management, if such a department or individual exists, often holds the keys to big troves of potentially relevant data. And “line” employees, who can be potential witnesses and data custodians, must be contacted and relied upon to preserve any potentially relevant evidence.
This three-part series will help in-house counsel and other legal professionals to effectively work with IT professionals, records managers, and other employees. (Read Part I)
Once you cover the basics with the RM, collaborate on a tactical plan for collecting and preserving potential witness or custodian data. Start with the organization’s retention policy and how the organization handles its data and its network operations. Determine the relevant data retention cycles and policies that could affect potentially responsive information. Find out when back-ups are conducted and which files have been backed up. Learn the destruction cycle for documents and files that may be potentially relevant and determine the extent to which the policies have actually been followed. Understand what data may be stored in legacy systems and how that could impact data retention and collection. Special attention must be paid to any potential witnesses that may be leaving the organization. Know how deactivated accounts for departed employees are handled and whether the information stored in those accounts will be recoverable.
The Technical-RM “Hybrid”