How to prepare for Litigation and Early Case Assessment and become Litigation Ready?

Posted on January 5, 2010

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Prepared organizations will become better and more successful organizations!

 Proper preparation starts with full-text indexing the most relevant storage areas such as servers, local hard disks, mail servers, SharePoint and other repositories. IT departments and in-house legal counsel can implement the collection of data more intelligently and efficiently rather than making hard disk images or using Boolean queries that consist of five pages of words connected by OR statements (which effectively collects way too much irrelevant and redundant data).

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 Organizations can do an even better job by linking the identification and legal hold to their records management system and data collection services. From the legal hold report it should be possible to automatically collect data from the records management systems and on the network where such users (custodians) have access. Much of this information can usually be found in the Active Directory.

 When law enforcement and intelligence agencies are looking for a smoking gun, organizations need to produce data under the Federal rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), which reduces all collected data to a smaller amount so the legal review cost can be controlled. In fact, the discovery is similar to an accounting process where at the end of the process the amount of documents that was collected has be the same as the amount of documents produced plus the documents that are removed in the discovery process. All documents that are not produced need to be justified. As a result, auditing and reporting are essential. Also, if an organization has several discoveries in parallel, which is often the case, then managing e-discovery becomes a resource and logistic issue.

 E-Discovery and Auditing  for Ongoing Compliance on SharePoint and other Repositories

 The popularity of SharePoint adds an additional level of complexity to discovery and auditing obligations for many organizations.  Vast amounts of information are stored in such archives that are not always easily accessible. The same problem exists with information stored in other closed and proprietary databases and repositories. Often there is a need for developing special scripts or connectors to make the content of these repositories searchable. Both federation and natively full-text indexing of the data in the repositories can provide organizations with the functionality needed to implement an in-house electronic discovery request or for auditing and monitoring for compliance. This may not be trivial and organizations should give this the attention it requires.

 Litigation Readiness 

 In a number of markets where information in the back office is extremely sensitive and real-time access is required for auditing, discovery or security, traditional Public Interface applications such as SharePoint, MS-Exchange, SAP, Oracle, Open-Text, SAP and many others do not provide sufficient search capabilities and also require data to be converted over and over again whenever the vendor of such product provides a new version of the application.

 ZyLAB offers a real-time and off-line open XML storage solution for such archival data that provides deep search capabilities and advanced text analytics.

As a result, these companies are able to bring e-discovery in house, provide real-time answers to information access questions and also implement proper records management principles such as information retention and information categorization. As a result, they are more litigation ready than other organizations.

 The Combination of e-discovery, records management, e-mail archiving and knowledge management brings the ultimate goal within reach: litigation readiness! Archiving, search and records management for all your organization’s data: paper, electronic files, e-mail and multimedia. By doing so, organizations can relearn the art-of-information-destruction.

They are prepared for litigation and they can avoid business disruptions and management distraction: by making e-discovery, records management, risk control and compliance part of daily business and operating procedures.

 An additional long-term benefit is that once all of an organization’s data is organized and non-relevant data is removed they can truly start thinking about knowledge management and knowledge sharing.

 This is why prepared companies will become more successful and better companies!

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