"While no one course of action is appropriate for all corporations, there are some basic steps to prepare for that first e-discovery challenge, none of which guarantee success. On the other hand, failure to recognize the challenges of complying with the e-discovery rules is more likely to lead to disaster.
"Here are a few thoughts on recommended survival tactics to maneuver through the e-discovery minefield.
1. Update and enforce your records management policy.
"Prudence and good corporate management dictate that every business should have a records management policy [PDF]. Such a policy informs employees about the documents they are required to keep as a matter of law or regulation or business necessity. It establishes procedures for the maintenance of records, and equally important, it outlines when records may permissibly be destroyed either because the legal retention period has expired or the business necessity no longer exists."
Authors Art Smith and Jeanine Bermel are members of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group at Husch & Eppenberger in St. Louis and regularly advise their corporate clients on issues relating to electronic discovery.