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Sub-Prime Scandal Focuses Attention on E-Discovery

E-discovery is firmly in the spotlight following the arrest of two former Bear Stearns fund managers yesterday for alleged securities fraud.

The two former execs, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, were taken into custody for their alleged roles in the collapse of two hedge funds which triggered the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Media reports suggest that an email allegedly sent by Cioffi to Tannin may be the smoking gun in the case, underlining the growing importance of e-discovery.

I think that it’s one of the few resources that regulators have access to that can generate leads for them,” says Denise Valentine, senior analyst at the Aite Group, adding that this is unlikely to change anytime soon. “People are people, they talk [via email], they are reflexive in their responses and how they behave.”

Against this backdrop, vendors are ramping up their e-discovery efforts, fusing more and more email retrieval features into traditional storage offerings. Symantec, for example, is planning to boost the e-discovery capabilities on its Enterprise Vault product later this year, and EMC is working on a similar enhancement to its Documentum archive.

Symantec’s rival Atempo is also getting in on the legal act, overhauling its Digital Archive for Messaging (ADAM) product earlier this week. Originally sold as an archiving product for email and instant messages, Atempo has now added an e-discovery module to the ADAM software.

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