Adapting strategies to complex eDiscovery issues

With 2012 now in the books, most executives are looking to use the lessons learned last year to develop more effective strategies for 2013, especially when it comes to corporate IT. More advances in enterprise technology occurred last year than in decades, and this trend will likely only intensify as the years go on. Business leaders should focus on preparing themselves in a proactive fashion to deter the new and old risks to data, network and operational integrity.

Likely one of the hottest topics for in-house counsel last year revolved around eDiscovery, and the associated technology that is still very new to most lawyers.

Using last year’s challenges for today’s improvements

Corporate Counsel Online recently listed the top six technology-based issues internal counsel faced in 2012, including the increased need to understand privacy issues and where responsibility and ownership of data are kept. For this matter, the source explained that state and federal privacy protection laws continue to complicate issues pertaining to corporate information governance, especially in the age of social media.

The news provider said that increasingly stringent and complex state and federal eDiscovery legislation was also challenging on the IT side, as many cases involving the associated technology set new precedence.  Cyber security and data breaches ranked at number 5 on the list, as too many companies are not paying close enough attention to data security. This can lead to serious legal problems when a breach is found to have damaged a person or business.

Data archiving and preservation processes at large were also revamped in 2012, and businesses will need to put increasing focus into building adequate policies and rolling them out to employees. Finally, the use of predictive coding was possibly the biggest challenge in-house counsel faced last year, as several States started to approve the use of computer-assisted review of electronically stored information.

This ties back into the challenge of archiving and preservation, as companies that do not prepare properly for potential discovery requests are destined for enormous costs and headaches.

Making 2013 a better year

Executives, IT personnel and in-house counsel should consider these challenges when establishing strategies for the New Year, as most of these topics will become increasingly complex for the foreseeable future. Most experts recommend outsourcing these processes and responsibilities to a firm that specializes in eDiscovery, data archiving, ESI preparation and other IT-oriented litigation processes.

Because most in-house counsel will not possess acumen in the technology associated with eDiscovery, especially predictive coding, it is most often disastrous to leave IT tasks to legal-minded professionals. By working with an outsourced firm, companies can better prepare themselves for the growing challenges of eDiscovery in 2013.