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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Ohio
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    New rules and regulations? [ for US companies to track emails ]

    First I have heard of this.
    From the Associated Press: http://apnews.excite.com/article/200...D8LO12BG0.html
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    New Rules Compel Firms to Track E-Mails
    Email this Story

    Dec 1, 6:25 AM (ET)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. companies will need to keep track of all the e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees thanks to new federal rules that go into effect Friday, legal experts say.

    The rules, approved by the Supreme Court in April, require companies and other entities involved in federal litigation to produce "electronically stored information" as part of the discovery process, when evidence is shared by both sides before a trial.

    The change makes it more important for companies to know what electronic information they have and where. Under the new rules, an information technology employee who routinely copies over a backup computer tape could be committing the equivalent of "virtual shredding," said Alvin F. Lindsay, a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP and expert on technology and litigation.

    James Wright, director of electronic discovery at Halliburton Co. (HAL) (HAL), said that large companies are likely to face higher costs from organizing their data to comply with the rules. In addition to e-mail, companies will need to know about things more difficult to track, like digital photos of work sites on employee cell phones and information on removable memory cards, he said.

    Both federal and state courts have increasingly been requiring the production of relevant electronic documents during discovery, but the new rules codify the practice, legal experts said.

    The rules also require that lawyers provide information about where their clients' electronic data is stored and how accessible it is much earlier in a lawsuit than was previously the case.

    There are hundreds of "e-discovery vendors" and these businesses raked in approximately $1.6 billion in 2006, Wright said. That figure could double in 2007, he added.

    Another expense will likely stem from the additional time lawyers will have to spend reviewing electronic documents before turning them over to the other side. While the amount of data will be narrowed by electronic searches, some high-paid lawyers will still have to sift through casual e-mails about subjects like "office birthday parties in the pantry" in order to find information relevant to a particular case.

    Martha Dawson, a partner at the Seattle-based law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP who specializes in electronic discovery, said the burden of the new rules won't be that great.

    Companies will not have to alter how they retain their electronic documents, she said, but will have to do an "inventory of their IT system" in order to know better where the documents are.

    The new rules also provide better guidance on how electronic evidence is to be handled in federal litigation, including guidelines on how companies can seek exemptions from providing data that isn't "reasonably accessible," she said. This could actually reduce the burden of electronic discovery, she said.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    255
    Some people/countries sure exist in a vacuum, don''t they.

    Most of my custs are banks, and admittedly they are more regulated than US banks, plus we have a lot less litigation than America. However, I can state from experience with litigation both here in Asutralia and Germany:
    (a) we already do that (a company would not be considered by most people to be a "company" unless they were doing that)
    (b) we routinely use it it catch all manner of evils (employees downloading pornography; monitoring and stopping emails with certain disallowed content; monitoring employees sites visited)
    (c) it definitely reduces the Discovery
    (d) it stops people from making Claims that cannot be evidenced, or that can be readily refuted (by e-documents)
    (e) it is fairly normal here for a party to ask for "all e-documents produced by and received by an indivudual" that relate to the Claim/Cross-Claim, and for solicitors to wade through them.

    Note, proving that the e-evidence is not the original article, or has been tampering with, is quite easy to prove. Immediate loss of credibility and possible perjury or contempt charge.

    Regards
    Derek Asirvadem
    Senior Sybase DBA/Information Architect derekATsoftwaregemsDOTcomDOTau
    Anything worth doing is worth doing Right The First Time
    Spend your money on standards-compliant development or spend 10 times more fixing it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
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    10,322
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekA
    Some people/countries sure exist in a vacuum, don''t they.

    Hmmmmmm...mirror, mirror
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekA
    Some people/countries sure exist in a vacuum, don''t they.
    What is the purpose of the above sentence?

    (a) we already do that (a company would not be considered by most people to be a "company" unless they were doing that)
    (b) we routinely use it it catch all manner of evils (employees downloading pornography; monitoring and stopping emails with certain disallowed content; monitoring employees sites visited)
    Is your supposition that US companies don't by and large already do this?

    This discussion isn't about common and best practices. It's about legislation mandating common and best practices by force. Effectively your "a company would not be considered by most people to be a "company" unless they were doing that" becomes "A company becomes summarily-shut-down-by-the-government unless they were doing that". See the difference?
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    10,322
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekA
    Some people exist in a vacuum....

    I saw a Darwin award once where I guy tried to make love to a vacuum

    I didn't end well
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
    dbForums Member List
    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

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