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Legal toolkit for storage systems

Ezine

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For example, a company with 200 active legal matters, each involving 50 employees, equals 10,000 emails. At least three reminders are usually sent to each involved employee during the time of the legal hold. In addition, each message must be acknowledged by the recipient, which drives the number of emails even higher. The scale of this effort can be enormous, as some Fortune 1000 companies may have several thousand open legal matters.

Collection is the process of gathering all of the documents you've preserved and putting them into a form that can be delivered to the attorneys. "Electronic information should be collected in a manner that's comprehensive, maintains its content integrity and preserves its form," says consultant Socha. "Increasingly, meta data is required to be collected and maintained during this process, and information regarding the chain of custody and authentication is required."

Failure to collect the data correctly can lead to big fines or even blow the lawsuit. When storage people are called into court to testify, it's usually to answer questions about how the data was managed, preserved and collected. Among the many vendors offering tools in this area are CommVault, Electronic Evidence Discovery (EED) Inc., Guidance Software and MetaLincs (a Seagate company). Beyond this point in the EDRM, the storage staff can generally step aside. Even if the company is

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handling more of the process in-house, the litigation team takes over.

PSS Systems takes a slightly different view of the ediscovery landscape. It divides the process into two parts: activities handled in-house with the involvement of IT and activities turned over to outside lawyers.

IT focuses mainly on generating, storing, collecting, identifying and exporting documents, while outside lawyers handle detailed search, review and production.

This was first published in May 2008

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