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Retention Rules Set to Change

Are you spending enough time with the company lawyers? You may be spending more real soon.

Amendments to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), set to go into effect December 1, will alter the way companies retain and delete data. (See Insider: Email Archiving Hits Bottom.) The FRCP rules are put into effect by the Supreme Court to govern civil procedures in U.S. courts.

Among other things, the new rules require both parties to discuss as early as possible where important data is located and develop a plan for retrieving it. Also, parties must produce data in a "reasonably usable" format, usually the native format in which the data is stored, such as PST files for Exchange.

All this means that storage administrators may be saving less data, but they'll need to do more work up front to make sure they're saving the right stuff in the right way.

So, while the lawyers wrangle in any civil lawsuit, storage administrators will be called on to help answer key questions such as:

  • Where is the data in question?
  • What actions were taken to preserve it?
  • How can the data be searched and reproduced?
  • Just what is the company's established data retention/deletion policy?
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