Litigation 101 for eDiscovery Tech Professionals: Information Management: What’s the Big Deal?
January 09, 2013
** This blog series is intended to introduce new eDiscovery professionals to the litigation process and litigation terminology. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here to go to the first eleven posts in the series.**
The first Document Production step outlined in the EDRM is Information Management. This step is a little different from the subsequent EDRM steps in that it is broader than litigation. Litigation is just one of the reasons why businesses need to organize documents and information. Businesses need fast and accurate access to information that is required to operate, and regulated businesses are required by law to preserve and maintain certain types of business records. So, Information Management is bigger than litigation. Litigation, however, certainly plays an important part. And attorneys are becoming more and more involved in helping clients organize and get a handle on business records.
Before we talk about how attorneys are helping, let’s take a look at the magnitude of the challenge presented by electronic documents. According to a market study done by the Radicati Group, the average corporate user sent/received 110 email messages a day in 2010. If anything, this number has probably increased since then. Here’s a breakdown of what that means for three different Fortune 1000 companies*:
- Dun & Bradstreet was 987 on the Fortune 1000 list. It had 5,000 employees. If only ½ used email, that’s 242,500 email messages that were handled EVERY DAY.
- Unisys was 429 on the Fortune 1000 list. It had 23,000 employees. If only ½ used email, that’s 1,115,500 email messages that were handled EVERY DAY.
- AT&T was 10 on the Fortune 1000 list. It had 294,600 employees. If only ½ used email, that’s 14,288,100 email messages that were handled EVERY DAY
These volumes are staggering. And keep in mind that these numbers only reflect email and not the huge volumes of other electronic materials generated in the course of business. Obviously, this has had a huge effect on discovery, and businesses – often under the guidance of attorneys – have stepped up to control the situation. They have tightened up document retention and destruction policies, they have crafted and implemented policies for what employees can and cannot do with company technology, and they have purchased and deployed Enterprise Content Management (ECM) programs that govern how and where ESI is stored and how it’s accessed and retrieved. While these activities are usually outside the purview of litigation technology professionals, more and more attorneys are providing clients with guidance in implementing policies, procedures and technology that minimize risk and volume when litigation arises.
*Sources of information include money.cnn.com, Wikipedia.com, and the Radicati Group; all information is from 2010.
In the next posts in the series, we’ll talk a bit more about some of the EDRM steps and how they fit into the bigger litigation picture. Please let us know if there are specific litigation topics that you’d like to see covered in this blog series.Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.