Electronic discovery (e-discovery) is now the norm in many lawsuits. The new law on spoliation has made the task of keeping records a greater burden. To avoid any adverse rulings on whether proper care was taken to preserve documents, lawyers need to be aware of what is expected of a client. As a result when a client is threatened with a lawsuit, the process needs to begin. That threat may come with notice of an injury. In addition it may come in the form of a letter from a party making a claim of any sort against the client.
Once the client is on notice of such then steps need to be taken to preserve documents and things. This applies to anything that may have some bearing on that claim. As a result you need to be aware of when the duty to preserve kicks in.
In terms of requests for data that you may make to an opposing party, those requests should be detailed and precise. This will save time and money when sorting out the responses. In addition it will also induce the other party to behave in the same fashion.
Make A List Of Level 1 and 2 Items
You should make a list of some things that are level 1 items that you need. If after receiving those level 1 items you feel that your needs have been met then there may be no need to go on to level 2. Level 2 items are lower tier items. However these should be in the hopper. In other words your request for them should be ready to go in the event the level 1 response is not enough.
You need to determine where the desired data is stored. Is it on: an email server? A cell phone? Server maintained in-house? A social media platform? Server that may be old and out of date? As a result your requests should be tailored to the storage device.
In sorting through the data you receive you need to think about how this will be done. Will you need an outside service? Is there software that can be used to make the sorting process easy? Do you need a short-term hire to help with the research? Using an outside service can be expensive.
All of this must be looked at in light of the recent legislation dealing with loss of data. The best defense to any claim of loss of data is your record of steps taken to preserve the data. This should include when those steps began and what sources were preserved.
For more information on this topic see the pages on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_discovery. Call, or contact us for a free consult.