Top 10 Reasons to use Defensible Methods and Technology
It's Evidence Just as court and law enforcement personnel rely on forensics principles and special tools to gather, secure and preserve physical evidence, so do corporate legal departments and IT professionals need to quickly, efficiently and defensibly do the same with documents and data (such as email and electronic documents such as spreadsheets and presentation files. If there is an evidentiary issue regarding certain electronic information, the tools and methods used by the organization are relied upon to show that accepted methods, processes and technologies were implemented to preserve and manage electronic evidence. TotalDiscovery uses strict computer forensic guidelines as part of its design and workflow so that auditability and maintaining evidentiary integrity is always priority one. The techniques and methodologies used by TotalDiscovery follow forensically sound principles and are based upon, meet or exceed electronic evidence and information security standards promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice, ISO, IEEE and the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists.
Spoliation Defensible practices are the best protection against spoliation claims. Defendants and Plaintiffs alike face more and more scrutiny regarding the proper preservation and handling of electronic information. Electronic information such as email and electronic documents are fragile and can be very easily — and accidentally — modified or destroyed. Parties involved in civil lawsuits or regulatory related matters are increasingly seeing the use of spoliation claims, either to their advantage or against them. The best way to avoid spoliation claims from the outset is to use defensible and mature technology like TotalDiscovery and to rely on sound advice from your legal team.
Neutrality There is significant value in the use of neutral third-party tools to perform the preservation, search and management of electronic information for legal purposes. Case after case, both State and Federal courts alike have focused on whether home-grown systems and internal IT practices are sufficient and whether preservation activities are performed in the right way using mature and accepted tools and methods. Using neutral tools (not those home-grown or not specialized for legal data management), reduces the need to hire in-house experts and helps lower overall legal spend.
Burden & Liability Designing the tools and methods to manage legal holds, preservation and eDiscovery should never be tasked to an already overworked IT department. IT is generally not appropriately staffed with the required skill sets to perform in-house eDiscovery. So IT should vet and be a part of the procurement and implementation of legal hold, data preservation and eDiscovery solutions to be used by the legal department to manage the process operations. Homegrown systems and non-specialized tools costs more money and take more time and are more vulnerable to tough scrutiny regarding process, data integrity, auditing capabilities and chain-of-custody.
Efficiency Proper methods employed correctly, by parties for complying with legal hold and data preservation requirements, can save both time and money. By creating efficiencies such as through the automation of reminder actions and automating critical task workflows (e.g., to suspend email deletion policies), defensibility is gained, errors are prevented and time is saved. If a good process is well managed and highly automated, overall legal spend is substantially reduced and certain areas of the legal budget becomes predictable.
Accuracy In most litigation and discovery situations, the volume of documents and data at the start of the process is typically much higher than at the end of the process (or the close of discovery). Thus, the more accurate are the data preservation and eDiscovery activities early-on, the less the overall document volume becomes – and it is clear that the less documents and data sent to attorney review, the less money spent on the overall lawsuit or legal matter. To ensure smart eDiscovery and accurate data preservation, TotalDiscovery uses several key technologies and workflows only available by BIA and its partners.
Verification Core to defensible data handling is the verifiability of electronic data as an authentic duplicate of the original. Making a copy of data is not the same as performing forensically sound data gathering. Professional tools should be used to preserve electronic data in its original form, with all of its metadata, to enable subsequent verification of that collected data. By using TotalDiscovery, the verification process is automated and can be vetted and reported upon, with a few simple clicks of the online administration panel by the person managing the process.
High Return on Investment ("ROI") Correctly designed and managed legal hold, preservation and discovery processes within a company will work to control exposures and help manage risk for a relatively low carrying cost. With TotalDiscovery specifically, the unique and low cost of each of the unlimited license types offered make it so that on top of the high ROI because of the risk lowering workflows and features, the costs and pricing model further increases the ROI. For example, TotalDiscovery may be 10 or even 30 times less costly than current in-house processes, manual workflows and external costs (e.g., attorneys and others). By using the right tools and paying for those tools in a cost-effective manner, companies can lower current annual legal spend and substantially increase the ROI related to the required business processes that include legal hold, preservation and eDiscovery activities. eDiscovery project should be reduced and will help limit the exposure to risk to the risk of fines and penalties that come with doing eDiscovery wrong.
Small Cost, Big Return The cost of a mature and easy-to-use legal hold and preservation solution is a small part of the overall cost of litigation. Thus, a good system, well implemented and at a cost-effective price-point will pay itself back many times over – and sometimes in a short time across one or several legal matters. TotalDiscovery is the only solution on the market today that offers so many features and capabilities at such low flat monthly rates. That is accomplished because the application is designed and built using modern technologies including those that compose the basis of utility computing, fabric storage and virtualized environments. Because the costs for those types of technologies are inherently low and because BIA uses mostly its own intellectual property and open technologies, savings are passed directly to TotalDiscovery users via well-priced, flat-fee unlimited use monthly licenses.
It's the Right Thing to Do Time and time again, litigants are being penalized for not taking the appropriate steps to ensure the proper legal holds and preservation actions are taken early-on in a lawsuit’s life or when a company reasonably anticipates that a legal matter may arise. With the increased volume of data that companies create and the changing laws related to legal preservation requirements and the ethical obligations of attorneys with respect to legal holds and eDiscovery, specialized and mature technologies are more important than ever before. The BIA web-application, TotalDiscovery is based on and includes methods and technologies defended in legal proceedings for over a decade – it is simple to implement and use, secure, cost-effective and available any time via a browser.