Lawyers Must Take Responsibility for Electronic Document Retention

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

Counsel is responsible for ensuring that electronic document retention takes place properly

So along those lines, there have been some recent revisions to the Federal Rules of civil procedure regarding electronic document retention for electronically stored information.

Before you even face a lawsuit, get a handle on how, where and for how long your going to monitor electronic document retention. And, you want to develop a document retention plan and stick to it. Whenever you know or you should know that litigation or an investigation is likely, stop destroying relevant information and preserve all relevant information.

The third thing here and this is new for me and it’s new for everybody, which is that introduce your IT personnel to your attorneys at the beginning of the case and involve them throughout the discovery process. I need to have a working knowledge of your electronic document retention system to serve you effectively under the new rules.

The way that it worked in the past is that whenever I had a piece of employment litigation that I was dealing with, I would almost exclusively deal with in-house counsel or with the HR managers. Now I’m going to have to develop relationships with the IT managers that are just as close as the relationships that I previously have with in-house-lawyers and with the HR personnel.

So finally, don’t worry about thinking that maybe you’re being singled out and the companies are getting the short end of the stick on this. You can get the other part of this computer too.

So, if a former employee sues you and you have reason to believe that they have information on their computer that could help you establish a defense or maybe even establish a counter claim against that employee, you have just as much right to see their electronically stored information as they have to see yours.

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

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