In an interview recently published by the ITBusinessEdge website, and organized by one its writers, Lora Bentley, the following observation was quoted, “…according to recent surveys (by the law firm Fulbright and Jarworski), about three quarters of U.S. businesses have at least one lawsuit commenced against them in the past year, and one third had a regulatory proceeding commenced within the last year.”
This revealing fact brings our attention to an area of busines continuity that is often ignored by most small and mid-size businesses – i.e. e-discovery. Since the recent changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and some famous legal cases, including Zublake v. USB Warburg, numerous corporations have recently been sanctioned and fined because of their failure to identify, collect and produce electronically stored information (ESI) as required by the rules and the case law. In other words, those companies were not prepared for what could have been a controlled and well tested internal e-discovery process which could have produced the required documentation on time and without those sanctions and economic penalties.
When these sanctions and fines are applied to small or mid-sized organizations, and when these same companies have to take their eyes off of doing their everyday activities to address the timely requirements from these e-discovery demands, the result can be a major threat and risk to the ongoing business continuity of those businesses.
For this reason, we believe that it is important to not ignore e-discovery in your business impact analysis process. And, it is also important to keep current developments in e-discovery on the agendas of your business continuity and risk management and regulatory compliance team meetings.
To read more about the topic of e-discovery in Lora Bentley’s interview with Andrew Cohen, compliance solutions VP and associate general counsel, EMS Corporation, click here.