Electronic discovery can be defined as the obligation of parties to a lawsuit to produce electronic documents pertaining to the lawsuit. Email is often one of the most important piece of evidence in legal actions for a number of reasons.
It provides concrete details of statements made, pictures and documents, agreements and change orders, inappropriate language and state of mind. As such, every business should be concerned with e-discovery and the email on their servers.
Are You Exposed?
Exposure can come in a number of forms. Sales people may make agreements and promises with clients that are contractual obligations which you are unaware of.
Emails containing jokes, sexual harassment, age discrimination, bullying or other forms of discriminatory or inappropriate behaviour can lead to serious legal issues.
There is also the risk of proprietary information, financial details or patient information becoming exposed or leaked and instantly spreading around the world.
No matter how many mailboxes you have or which industry you are in, email is one of your biggest legal exposures.
Email is forever – even if you delete it, people can forward copies outside of your network. Everyday there are news stories about scandalous emails being disclosed.
Early Case Assessment – Best Practices for e-discovery
In order to mount an effective legal defence you need to know your exposure so you can determine the value of investing in litigation or settling to avoid excessive costs if you only have a small chance for winning.
E-discovery on email content can give your legal team insight into exposure, evidence, expanded potential problem areas, and clear cut facts that can determine if you have a clear path to victory or defeat.
With the opportunity to do e-discovery on email content, you can separate the emotions of people from the hard facts.
Internal HR disputes, employee claims, customer complaints, internal warnings, side comments, and any cover up activity can quickly be identified to piece the story together and determine a course of action.
Early case assessment is the best action to reducing legal costs. Management can quickly make a decision based on the e-discovery results – usually done in minutes.
Growing Need for e-Discovery
Electronic discovery, or e-discovery for short, has become the norm in cases like this and organisations need to revisit their strategy in order to be better prepared. All departments of a business need to make themselves familiar with emerging tools in e-discovery and the changing legal landscape. Being better prepared can reduce costs during litigation and provide a strategic advantage.
E-discovery is now the digital equivalent of the common-law process whereby relevant documents which could be relevant in a dispute need to be disclosed to both parties to ensure transparency.
E-discovery has become the norm in many cases, especially those concerning internal disputes such as harassment. As such, organisations need to revisit their strategy in order to ensure they are better prepared.
Legal professionals say almost all cases now involve some elements of electronic evidence and the scale of the challenge in the future lies in the expected huge and continued growth of data with some estimates predicting that the rate of new information is doubling every two years.
The potential expense of e-discovery can be very high with the legal costs of retrieving past email information having to factor in the time it takes to search and retrieve every email or document.
MailMeter Investigate Module
The MailMeter Investigate Module helps your organisation quickly and easily meet e-discovery, compliance and FOI requests.
With MailMeter Investigate, the time taken to search for and find information is cut from days or weeks to minutes, greatly reducing legal costs.
An advanced investigative interface made specifically for organisations that need to perform frequent in-depth searching and analysis for evidentiary discovery on past email activity, email messages and attachments, MailMeter also offers group searching, tagging and export capabilities.
Many organisations find MailMeter Investigate a priceless resource when faced with legal issues and disputes. To find out more about MailMeter Investigate and how it could help your business, contact us today for more information.