The world is changing, and businesses are changing with it. More often than not now, documents and communication within a business are digital, existing non-physically on computers or servers. This is good news for work efficiency, and even better news for the environment, as sparing all that paper on a macro level is probably saving a full forest of trees.
One of the problems it does pose, however, is in litigation or arbitration processes, when documents need to be identified, preserved, collected, processed and reviewed.
The importance of eDiscovery
If your business is hit with a lawsuit, you can’t just open up your desk to produce the requisite documents anymore. You need to be able to prove that you’ve done due diligence in preserving and producing those electronic documents, which means you’ll need to hire a document review team of legal professionals.
Any company reading this probably just shuddered at the thought. But this doesn’t need to be costly – you can visit LexLocom to learn more about hiring short-term legal help in cases of eDiscovery litigation and arbitration. There are certainly cost-effective ways of handling the eDiscovery process, regardless of how complicated it may be.
It’s important to plan ahead for eDiscovery, as well, as it’s not just giant corporations that get hit with these types of lawsuits, where electronic evidence needs to be handed over. Business disputes, liability suits, employment cases and personal injury cases – in addition to many more – can all require electronic evidence to be handed over, and when that happens you’ll be thankful you had a plan in mind.
Hiring a team of lawyers, you’ll be able to work with the adversarial team of lawyers to agree on parameters for the search of documents, a process you simply can’t do alone.
How’s your data backup?
As far as planning goes, you should also always make sure that you back up your data, even going so far as to write this data retention into your company policy. Do not delete emails indiscriminately, as that will just cause a headache later on; you need a good reason, such as limited server space, to delete emails. You should, though, practice smart encryption, as there absolutely is data protection that supports the eDiscovery process.
Besides being a smart business practice outside the realm of eDiscovery, employing encryption key management, or using services like Google Vault can help you protect your data without hindering the eDiscovery process.
It can all get very confusing, and that’s because, well… it is. This is exactly why there are IT professionals and legal professionals whose main focus is just this kind of thing – how to keep your data both safe and compliant with eDiscovery.
Get to know your IT people and interview them about where data is kept and how, and consult with a legal professional about what to do in the case of litigation. These processes will save you a mountain of trouble down the line, and make sure that something as small and seemingly insignificant as an electronic document doesn’t threaten the integrity of your business.