Bradley attorney Ty Dedmon was quoted in Business Alabama about managing the ever-growing amount of electronic data which can make a business vulnerable to a costly electronic-discovery process if the business ever faces litigation.
Businesses should first map all the places their electronic data is stored to get a better handle on it, said Dedmon. Because of the collaborative nature of many business procedures, the storage of electronic data used by multiple individuals has become more complicated.
“You need to know where all your data is, that’s why it’s critical to map all the locations where it resides,” Dedmon explained.
The good news is that federal courts have recently given businesses some relief via “proportionality” rules that can limit the costs of e-discovery based on factors such as the amount of damages being sought. “But for state courts like Alabama’s, it’s completely up to the judge to determine whether an e-discovery request is reasonable,” he said. “Judges tend to be sympathetic to plaintiff requests for information that can potentially prove the plaintiff’s case.”
Another trend that is helping lessen e-discovery load on businesses facing lawsuits is the development of “early case assessment” software tools, which help attorneys comb through a company’s data to help determine which files may have relevance to the case. “Judges are educated to the effectiveness of these tools and tend to accept their use for e-discovery,” Dedmon said.
The complete article, “When Data Balloons, So Can Law Costs,” appeared in the August 2017 issue of Business Alabama.