Madison, Wis. - The prospect of e-discovery and the possibility - make that probability - of data breaches are enough to make any chief executive reach for antacids, but if the CEO's top technologist doesn't mind consulting with the legal team, a great deal of heartburn can be avoided.
That was the message of attorney Erik Phelps, a partner in the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich, who told a Fusion 2007 gathering that since e-mail is now discoverable in court, and more than 100 million personally identifiable records have been subject to security breaches - and those are only the ones that have been publicly announced - it's a good idea for CIOs to communicate with the company's legal brain trust.
Virtually every CIO will have to deal with an e-discovery related lawsuit at some point, Phelps said, and a well-informed attorney has an enormous strategic advantage because he or she can manage a company's legal costs without hurting its case.
To do that, the attorneys will need the help of CIOs, he added, to produce discoverable e-documents and craft a business process to manage risk.“CIOs add value to an organization if they have good record-retention policies,” Phelps said.
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