The Right eDiscovery Policy: Strict or Sweeping?

A core conversation lies beneath any big policy debate – health care spending, judicial reform, economic stimulus, foreign affairs, why they keep making those awful Bachelorette reality shows – is whether the right way forward is through sweeping reform or stricter policies.

And right now, eDiscovery is facing this fork in the policy road; especially as news of sanctions, fines and angry Judges (with their angry robes, angry gavels and angry 200-page rulings) appear with discomforting frequency.

The sweepers argue that the only way to protect a company against eDiscovery costs and other threats is by capturing every single piece of data. Every. Single. PIece. Even that email asking employees to keep their umbrellas outside, or the survey asking the temps what they’d like to eat at the holiday lunch party.

On the other hand, the strict(ers) say that the only way to handle this eDiscovery “thing” is to have strict policies, which enable companies to keep relevant and valuable information only.

So who’s winning this debate? As noted by, the experts are saying that strict is in.

Why? Well, to start with, capturing every single piece of electronic data is conceptually appealing but practically impossible. There’s just too much; especially with social media increasing the amount of corporate “data” (yes, even stuff about umbrellas) by exponential leaps and bounds.

In the same light, they point out that strict policies are both practical and enforceable, provided that they’re the right ones. Plus, they cut down storage costs, which means more selection at the holiday lunch party.

“With eDiscovery pressures, management now has the ability to create a solid business case for refining information governance practices – reducing the volume of records flowing into eDiscovery systems translates into real cost savings,” a CMS Wire report noted.

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