As soon as companies learn about pending commercial litigation, they have to take specific steps to protect themselves. Here are some important questions that should be asked any time e-discovery is involved in a business lawsuit so that any important adjustments can be made to normal business processes.
Is There A Legal Hold?
Sometimes, internal counsel will recommend that the company put a legal hold in place on digital processes. The goal is to preserve digital information for a case. That may require changing data backup strategies, going into an archive to find old information, or holding off on the disposal of paper or digital records. Companies may put a stop to the recycling or destruction of tape vaults, or start to make more digital copies of paper records.
How Is The Data Center Set Up?
In many cases of e-discovery, there will be some questions about how easy the data center is to access. What kind of information can be retrieved by a simple query? Business leaders might ask about cross-indexing and other kinds of data management that would allow them to easily bring up the data that auditors or lawyers need.
What Is The Retrieval Method?
Companies will also be looking closely at the retrieval methods for normal e-discovery. In many cases, this consists of SQL queries, where these syntactical commands manipulate a company database design. However, with different new kinds of data storage processes and the emergence of raw or unstructured data, other tools may be needed as well.
Is There Data Storage Outsourcing?
In many cases, since the emergence of "cloud" storage, e-discovery might require company executives to have a conversation with cloud vendors or suppliers. It's important for businesses to get the third parties involved to understand how they store their data remotely and how they can get that data back for commercial litigation purposes.
What Is The Timeline?
In conducting e-discovery for commercial litigation, business leaders have to know the specific timeline for hearings and other court events. They may have only days or weeks to get all the information in place. Depending on the volume of information they are dealing with, that can be an enormous burden and cause the re-prioritization of other tasks and processes.
How Do Different Departments Interrelate?
Businesses may also have to look at how one department or arm of the business works with another. In this case, those responsible for working with attorneys may need to figure out how to get information from one desk to another, or how to get departments to collaborate on presenting business intelligence or master data to involved parties.
All of this factors into the delicate process of e-discovery, or the reconstruction or retrieval of digital documents for pending commercial litigation. How these processes are done can make all the difference in a defense case, and it's important for companies to know how to handle e-discovery before any legal situations happen. For more information, contact a professional like those at FactorLaw.