Tool kit equips for Challenges of Legal E-Discovery

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<p><strong>Ely, England &mdash; July 24</strong><br />Under the recently amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, organizations face tough new requirements for preserving their electronically stored information, such as e-mail and word-processing documents, so that it can swiftly be produced in the event of a lawsuit.&nbsp; </p><p>Research reveals, however, that although such legal demands are common for larger organizations, very few are ready for these new e-discovery rules, leaving the majority open to costly fines and adverse rulings.&nbsp; </p><p>To help corporations adapt to the new requirements top infosecurity publisher IT Governance Ltd. has launched &quot;E-Discovery and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure&quot; as the latest in its series of Practical IT Governance pocket guides.<br /><br />&quot;E-Discovery and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure&quot; is written in recognition that larger organizations are highly likely to face e-discovery requests.&nbsp; </p><p>According to ESG Research, 91 percent of organizations with more than 20,000 employees have been through an e-discovery event in the past year. </p><p>But a recent survey of corporate attorneys by Pike and Fisher revealed that only 7 percent feel their companies are ready to meet these new requirements. <br /><br />In response, IT Governance Ltd. recruited Bradley J. Schaufenbuel, senior manager in IT risk and security at Zurich Financial Services in Illinois, to write this concise expert guide to the new rules.&nbsp; </p><p>Over 68 pages, he provides an easily absorbed account of the background and details of the new rules and explains what organizations must do immediately to ready themselves for possible future lawsuits. <br /><br />In particular, Schaufenbuel addresses the tight time frames in which electronic information must now be gathered and presented to opposing counsel, and how this in turn demands a far more rigorous and strategic methodology for storing corporate information on an ongoing basis.&nbsp; </p><p>It highlights the stark truth that in the eyes of the court &quot;ignorance is no longer bliss&quot; and that organizations are expected to be able to retrieve electronic information as needed.&nbsp; </p><p>It also discusses the new multidisciplinary approach that must be adopted to comply with these demands, drawing in personnel from record management, IT, compliance and legal to ensure a comprehensive compliance framework is developed.<br /><br />A failure to adequately provide electronic information in response to a discovery request can prove extremely costly.&nbsp; </p><p>Severe consequences can include a judge instructing a jury to assume that missing evidence would have been &quot;adverse&quot; to the party failing to provide it.&nbsp; </p><p>In a recent sexual discrimination lawsuit, such an instruction led to banking group UBS having to pay $29 million to a former employee, whereas in Coleman v. Morgan Stanley, a similar event saw billionaire Ronald Perelman awarded $1.45 billion against Morgan Stanley.&nbsp; </p><p>Heavy fines and penalties also might be levied by the court, which, in the case of Serra Chevrolet v. General Motors, were as high as $50,000 per day for a late response to a discovery request. </p>

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