Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

FRCP Tip Sheet

Revisions to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are set to go into effect December 1. (See Retention Rules Set to Change and Storage Goes to Law School.) And while the repercussions will be felt chiefly by corporate attorneys, the issues raised will draw IT managers inexorably into the loop. The result is that more storage managers are becoming experts in the field of "e-discovery."

The new rules themselves comprise 60 pages of legalese, but the gist is that corporate lawyers must not only produce electronic documents in the event of litigation, but produce them as part of the pretrial process. If documents can't be produced, a judge can slam a company with sizeable penalties.

Many firms could be facing six-figure fines, according to sources, because they don't know about the new rules and are unprepared to follow them. Results of a poll conducted by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, released today, show that nearly 70 percent of an audience of roughly 300 to 400 CFOs, tax and finance directors, attorneys, and controllers on a recent Webcast reported they need "more training on their company's records retention policies and procedures." (See Deloitte Polls IT.)

How can storage managers be sure they're ready when legal comes calling? Here's a checklist gathered from recent interviews and research.

  • Get control of email: Email management is the Achilles heel of many corporations when it comes to e-discovery. (See Email Looms as IT Threat and Stop That Email!.) Getting it into an archive that can be searched will be well worth the effort.

    "Email management is a big deal," said Jim Brady, email administrator at LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in a presentation at the SNW conference in Orlando last week. Using Symantec's Enterprise Vault, Brady's archived email for 4,500 users, including one who stubbornly refused to delete a 35-Gbyte stash of over 2 million emails. By moving to an enterprise database, consolidating Exchange servers, and setting up a migration of email data from tape to disk archives, Brady figures he's ready for anything -- and he's saved $850,000 a year in the process.

  • 1