Electronic Records Management: A New Frontier in Litigation

by on July 6, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Having an electronic records management policy is key now to survive lawsuits

And just remember that the stuff in your computer counts too. Those are documents and records that need to be subject to electronic records management. And just to give you a special word on electronic records management, electronic records and emails present special retention and production problems.

One of the reasons that this is such a big issue is the issue of metadata. But one thing about emails in particular or any other electronic document for that matter, is that the document contains a lot more information attached to it than just what’s on your computer screen.

If you know how to get in to that particular email or that particular document, I am so informed that you’re able to see when it is created. Sometimes you can even view keystrokes to see what revisions were made and when they were made or who made those revisions.

So an electronic document carries a lot more baggage along with it than a paper document does. So for that reason, electronic records management is becoming a very hot topic in the context of litigation because these days people don’t just want to see the paper printout of an email for example.

They want to be able to get on to the computer server and take a look at that email and take an electronic or a computer forensic expert into that server and see exactly who went to the – who did this email go to, who does it get forwarded to, who opened it, who responded to it, who may have printed it. This electronically stored information can be a gold mine of information to either side in litigation. So, that’s something that you need to keep in mind.

Edited Remarks From “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep It & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley

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