Be Prepared to Present Electronic Record Retention Data In Several Forms

by on July 8, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

It’s possible to convert electronic record retention files into different formats

Make sure that your electronic record retention includes electronic business records as well. The same goes in the electronic record retention circuit that IT owns the tools and RIM owns the rules. So, the folks in your records and information management team or your records and information management department are the ones that are most likely to know what the rules are as they pertain to record keeping as opposed to simply knowing the technology that’s facilitating the capture of that information.

Help counsel identify and produce confidential and privileged records. So, keep a list of your company’s most critical, confidential and privileged records. At minimum, keep your eye toward the department that contain the most critical, sensitive information. Your, maybe your development team, the folks that are out there, your inventors. The ones that are working with your trade secret. Those folks will tend to have some critical, confidential information. Your research department, those folks.

Create a list of all mediums where records could be found in your electronic record retention. So, once you compile a list, identify which worker will have the official record.

You should have, in an ideal scenario, a dedicated server that captures and holds only your records and that everything else will be considered secondary data. And, contain secondary sources that can be considered either a copy with a shorter retention or a non-record with a shorter retention.

In terms of the form of production for items held in electronic record retention, Rule 34 and 35, be conversant and comfortable with discussions regarding formats for production. There’s vendors out there that are developing many other different types of technology to help you harness information in discovery. And, produce the information in discovery. So, when you get hit with discovery, don’t try to invent the wheel yourself. Get out there and talk to some of the vendors that are helping companies produce electronic information. And, you’ll be surprised about how much more efficient you might be.

So, if nothing else, make a list of who the vendors are out there that are helping companies produce information in electronic format during discovery. Know and understand your company’s formats used for everyday business and electronic record retention. In other words, understand your information systems and your technology. You don’t need to be an IT expert per se, but definitely be conversant enough to be able to talk to the folks in IT and understand what they’re talking about.

As far as this issue of accessibility, create a list of inaccessible information. So, what you consider to be inaccessible. So, if you got it by type of media, are we talking about non-index back up tapes, legacy information from absolute systems, deleted data in fragmented form. Also identify the location, if you’re talking about a bunch of back up tapes, where are they located? Are they located in the closet, in Peoria, Illinois and maybe in a plant somewhere in Mobile, Alabama. And identify the reasons why they’re inaccessible. Are they inaccessible because their legacy systems? Are they inaccessible because they’re in back up tapes? And what are the costs that would be estimated to recover this information.

Edited Remarks from “How to Bulletproof Your Data Storage Strategy: New Legal Rules for Electronic Discovery” by John Isaza, Esq.

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