From FINRA disclosures to complex commercial litigation, industry experts can assist with a winning data strategy and limit exposure during the discovery process.
Outside counsel can sometimes be at the mercy of its client’s network infrastructure and document retention policies when it comes to Data Mapping and Litigation Readiness. Parties may find themselves in a nightmare scenario if they do not know exactly where potentially relevant data resides and how it is preserved.
It is not always the best strategy to rely solely on a client’s IT Department when it comes to figuring out where email and other ESI is hiding. Often times (at no fault of IT), corporate networks can resemble the “Wild West” for many reasons including…
- Individual permissions to save and customize email locally on workstations
- Unknown/unauthorized archiving on shared/hidden folders
- Use of personal email accounts
- Outsourced IT vendor involvement
- Cloud-based communications and applications
According to Frank Mancini, TERIS/Phoenix “a Phoenix law firm recently hired TERIS to collect email in response to a motion to compel. The firm’s client had a 3rd party IT vendor who directed TERIS to an email Exchange server. The amount of email on the Exchange server was not nearly enough related to the request. TERIS experts quickly realized that additional ESI must be residing elsewhere on the network. Further investigation revealed that employees were saving PST archives to a shared folder on a separate network from the main email Exchange once their mailbox reached a certain size limit. Had we not notified outside counsel that this was a red flag they would have certainly under-produced.”
A neutral third-party expert can help manage these first few steps to Identify, Preserve & Collect client data with consistent results:
- Determine “where the bones are buried”
- Provide defensible, documented collection steps
- Limit firm/client IT staff exposure
- Offer low fixed-rates for cost predictability
- Fulfill Preservation Obligation with a forensic “Time Capsule” of data