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'E' in E-Discovery May Be for 'Expensive'

SAN FRANCISCO -- E-discovery continues to reshape the methods, strategies, and relationships of storage professionals within their organization.

And in truth, most storage pros are struggling with what data and documents need to be retained, the legal implications of backup versus archiving, and newly established tiers of discovery, according to Stephanie Mendelsohn, director of corporate records and electronic discovery for Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, Calif.

Mendelsohn spoke this morning at the Storage Decisions conference here. And the discussion was a timely one, as the storage industry (okay, storage vendors) hailed the one-year anniversary of the
overhaul of the Federal Rules Civil Procedure

FRCP and e-discovery create the potential for a wild goose chase for an email or document, which may or may not exist. Courts and corporations are understandably concerned about how to contain such searches; corporations are anxious to safeguard business assets, while courts don't want justice to be derived from the legal party with the biggest budget for searches, Mendelsohn said.

In a video clip, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was seen musing over the volumes of data that might be subject to search and the $4 million price tag cited to perform it. "Unless you're going to limit [e-discovery] costs or where you look, then justice is determined by wealth, not by the merits of the case," Breyer said, with a snort of disapproval.

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