Sunday, April 1, 2007

Five Email and Document Management Strategies Key to Reducing Litigation Costs

Smoking-gun documents and emails have been at the heart of the world's best known corporate legal battles, but the risks of information in litigation have suddenly grown with new U.S. Federal guidelines for e-discovery. How can companies get a handle on the exploding volume of online content to better address the costs and risks of litigation? Open Text(TM) Corporation, a leading provider of software that helps companies manage their growing stores of emails and documents, today released a list of five key technology strategies for litigation and e-discovery readiness that can help companies be as prepared in the courtroom as in the boardroom.

How can companies leverage this technology, sharpen their ability to manage information, and better respond to discovery requests? According to Open Text Executive Vice President Bill Forquer , these five key strategies can make all the difference:

- Define defensible policies: Map the governing regulations and internal requirements to the process of identifying what email or document constitutes a record. What is and isn't a record? How long should a record be kept or how long must it be kept? Does it need to be stored on a specific media? Kept in a specific location? Do your policies take into account metadata associated with records?

- Enforce policies with records management: Move policies from theory to practice with a completely automated and secure process for identifying, retaining, and destroying records. Key considerations: When does a document become a record? How do you capture the right amount of content? How do you accommodate multiple regulations or court cases concurrently? Do users need to continue to work with records or can they be offloaded into an isolated system?
- Centrally control all enterprise content: Establish control over all enterprise content without changing the way users work with content- including emails and documents in Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint. Consider the following issues: How do you make records management a seamless part of the way users work? Can you describe all enterprise content in the same terms, no matter where it lives? How do you ensure that a legal hold or discovery procedure is spanning all relevant corporate content? Can you easily extend today's policies to tomorrow's potential information systems and repositories?

- Retain business records: Manage the cost-effective, physical storage of records in a compliant fashion while destroying non-records appropriately. Key considerations: How do you ensure that records are archived in a compliant manner? Does your accounting firm mandate specific storage methodologies for your records? Can you ensure admissibility by proving content has not been tampered with? Do you have a plan for storage systems that can store records for decades, outliving their host media?

- Extend with litigation support: Accelerate the collection, preservation, review and coding, and production of corporate records as evidence. Are your enterprise content repositories and records management practices fully integrated with your process for retrieving, coding, reviewing, and processing responsive content? Can you export content into the litigation support application without creating duplicate copies of records? When a case concludes, can you assuredly disable any holds placed on responsive content and automatically resume retention and disposition lifecycles?

Open Text and partner TCDI, a market leader in large-scale electronic discovery and litigation case management, recently introduced a combined software solution called

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