Many organizations don’t feel adequately prepared to face the potential challenges of legal discovery. This was clearly the case according to a recent survey we sponsored, Taking Steps to be Discovery Ready.
Some companies are taking steps to deal with this situation, implementing eDiscovery solutions such as a discovery readiness assessment analysis and creating an internal eDiscovery team. Companies are also hiring an outside vendor for electronic discovery service and hiring a law firm to consult with on implementing eDiscovery processes and technology. In this post I’d like to focus on another step some enterprises are taking to boost their readiness, which is to improve they way they manage records.
While corporate counsels indicate that having a comprehensive document retention policy in place is a top litigation risk management concern, a significant number of respondents (41 percent) indicate that their organization does not have a fully-implemented program to manage records. Interestingly, while a strong majority of law firm respondents (76 percent) agree that it is important for their clients to have a program to manage records, many firms (49 percent) don’t even have a robust program in place themselves.
Some corporate legal departments do “see the light” with respect to this issue. In our 2008 discovery-ready enterprise survey, 35 percent of in-house counsels surveyed indicated their organization planned to implement a records management program within the next year. In our most recent survey, a higher number of respondents (42 percent) say their company plans to launch a program in the next 12 months. This finding suggests a growing awareness of the importance of effectively managing records as a key element in becoming a discovery-ready enterprise.
In addition to these steps, organizations are trying to get a better handle on controlling litigation risk. I’ll highlight this topic in an upcoming post. In the meantime, our web site (www.ocesolutions.com) and the Socha Consulting blog (www.sochaconsulting.com) offer additional information on eDiscovery.