Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guidance Software Outlines the Five Most Common Pitfalls of Outdated E-Discovery

Outdated e-discovery methods are costly and can leave organizations exposed to all sorts of sanctions. The five most common pitfalls associated with outdated e-discovery, according to Guidance Software, are:

1. Unnecessarily High Costs. Major organizations can incur millions in out-of-pocket costs annually, mostly in the form of outside consultant fees to collect and process data. These fees – including processing fees for culling, deduping and creating load files for attorney review platforms – can be reduced to zero if the proper technology is brought in-house. As the volume of electronic data, including email, continues to multiply, so do the costs of e-discovery when out-of-date technology is used. In many instances, skyrocketing e-discovery costs force organizations to prematurely settle cases or, at a minimum, compromise their litigation strategy.

2. Inability to Collect Electronic Evidence Over The Company’s Network. If a company cannot collect evidence in an automated way across its network, it must resort to manual collections. This means the companies’ collection team (or teams provided by outside vendors) must be sent to each office where the computers are located, incurring expenses for their time, travel and accommodations.

3. Business Disruption. Manual collection methods require the collection team to have the employee halt use of their computer for several hours each while the data is being collected – a serious disruption to that employee or executive’s productivity. Sometimes entire servers must be taken off-line, which is even more disruptive to operations. When legal issues are sensitive, manual collections can increase employee paranoia and sometimes encourage potential witnesses to act rashly by deleting potential evidence.

4. No Triage and Bad Filtering. Much of the expense and burden associated with e-discovery is incurred in the collection aspect of the investigation process. For instance, without enterprise collection technology, collecting files from hundreds or even thousands of computers distributed across multiple locations must be performed manually. With no means to triage and filter out irrelevant data, the collection is overbroad, with a great deal of irrelevant data aggregated into a central database where it is then finally processed and searched.

5. Destruction of Computer Evidence. Destruction of computer evidence can be a major problem, and by some estimates, occurs in some form in most cases. Computer investigations that do not follow noninvasive forensic methodologies will likely result in altering and even deleting the target data. It’s critical to establish a digital chain of custody to establish that the acquired computer evidence is not tampered with or inadvertently altered, thereby insulating the company from even speculative allegations of mishandled digital evidence.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.