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Friday, January 18, 2008

Proactive Enterprise eDiscovery Should be a Standard Business Practice

With the changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure at the end of 2006 along with the subsequent and associated sanctions and law suites, corporations that face litigation on a fairly regular basis should consider treating proactive ediscovery as a standard operating processes vs. a series of discrete events.

For example, many organizations are now taking steps toward automating the litigation hold process. As part of this process, witnesses (e.g. employees, vendors, etc.) will automatically receive instructions to suspend the destruction of documents that might be potentially pertinent to an anticipated litigation/investigation matter. However, even in the face of the well know federal and state actions and sanctions that have been broughg against those organizations that do not comply, there is strong evidence that preservation orders, when emailed or even handed out, will not be followed.

As such, these organizations are being forced to turn to more automated and integrated ESI detection and collection to accompany the hold order. As a results, we are quickly seeing explosive growth in what has been tagged Evidence Lifecycle Management (ELM).

Although a somewhat disjointed market that still requires a fair amount of consulting, we are starting to see some very good semi-integrated solutions from vendors such as Kazeon (http://www.kazeon.com/), Clearwell (http://www.clearwellsystems.com/) and WorProducts (http://www.workproducts.com/) that include features such proactive identification of employees (i.e. potential custodians), mapping of their data, preservation and hold lifecycle management, automated collection, culling and de-duping, preservation management, Electronic Data Discovery and Computer Forensics, Online Review, Hosting and long term Storage.

As anyone that reads this Blog on a regular basis knows, I am a big proponent of SaaS and onDemand delivery and therefore will be looking for the first vendor or consortium of vendors that develops and releases a true onDemand SaaS ELM solution.

Stay tunned for the results of my investigation.

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