E-Discovery and Records Management: Essential Knowledge for Information Professionals

Article excerpt

E-Discovery and Records Management: Essential Knowledge for Information Professionals Ejectronic Discovery Practice under the Federal Rules Authors: Amy Jane Longo, Esq., Allan D. Johnson, Esq., and Allen W. Burton, Esq. Publisher: BNA Books Publication Date: 2010 Length: 126 pages Price: $195 ISBN: 97^1570186875

Source: http://storefiOnt bnabooks.com

Electronic Discovery Practice under the Federal Rules by Amy Jane Longo, Esq., Allen W. Burton, Esq., and Allan D. Johnson, Esq., is a detailed chronicle of the federal e-discovery rules and their continuing evolution throughout the digital age. Providing concise summations and extensive bibliographical footnotes, this book is intended primarily for legal professionals, but also serves as a valuable reference for information professionals.

Divided into seven sections, the text covers the various iterations of e-discovery rules, illustrating how they have evolved to meet today's changing standards, and it includes a table oí sample worksheets, glossary of terms, and bibliography.

In the late 1990s, as increasing amounts of information were being stored and born digitally, the drafters of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recognized that the rules that applied to traditional paperbased methods of discovery would no longer suffice; new methods and rules would be needed to address the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). Through a solicitation for comments, the lengthy process of revising the existing rules began, and the final version of the resulting amendments took effect on December 1, 2006.

IDs Unique Challenges of Managing ESI

Broadly defined in the text, ESI includes a plethora of data, including, but not limited to, active documents, system files, metadata, replicant and residual data, voicemails, and files on personal digital assistants. Similar to the quandaries concerning more traditional electronic records, the numerous formats and various mediums that ESI can exist in or on, compounded by its sheer volume, make managing, searching, and promulgating these records a daunting task.

What makes ESI more difficult to manage is that it often comprises active records that are still being used in the course of daily business. Because the information types that comprise ESI are so fluid, they are at a greater risk of being mishandled.

The fragility of these living documents heightens the potential of spoliation or deletion, and as stated on page A- 73 in the text, whether it is done innocently or with mal intent, "the potential for sanctions looms large if relevant data is lost or destroyed." The challenges presented by this type of living material illustrate a driving need for e-discovery and electronic records management to be addressed more holistically.

Provides Practical Tools

In addition to the excellent reference information provided, the authors also included helpful tools for practical application. …