Many tools exist that can help companies manage electronic documents in compliance with court rules, but some attendees of an electronic discovery conference this week said they don't trust all the technology.
Several technologies, such as e-mail archiving software, can help reduce risk and manage costs associated with e-discovery rules, vendors and other advocates said Friday at the Advanced E-Discovery Institute at the Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.
But Robert Eisenberg, vice president of e-discovery consulting at Capital Legal Solutions of Falls Church, Virginia, raised concerns about technologies such as software that manages document retention and litigation workflow. "I don't want to sound like a Luddite, but I actually think there's a danger on relying on tools that are supposed to be doing things that you're not monitoring," he said.
Many companies are looking for the Holy Grail of technology that takes care of e-discovery issues without much human intervention, but often what's needed when a company is facing a lawsuit and needs to track down information is face-to-face contact, Eisenberg said. "The convergence we need is a convergence of grey matter, the way people think of an existing technology, rather than looking for that Holy Grail," he said. "There's a danger in even looking for it."
In some cases, companies or lawyers won't be able to explain how e-discovery tools work in court, he added.
But others on a panel discussion about e-discovery technology said those tools can help companies manage electronic documents and e-discovery requests.
Most panelists endorsed e-mail archiving tools, even though most of the audience members indicated that their companies or law firms didn't use archiving software. Archiving software can help companies store e-mail in one location, instead of across multiple desktops, and can schedule e-mail messages for deletion, said Andrew Cohen, associate general counsel and vice president of compliance solutions for EMC.
For many large businesses, e-mail archiving technology makes sense, even though setting up an archiving system can be expensive, Cohen said.
E-mail is "really hard to delete when the e-mails end up on everyone's desktop," he said. "This stuff is flying around the enterprise at the speed of light."
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