July 21, 2014

A blog for Arizona's Finest Lawyers

By Andrew Turk

Standards governing e-discovery continue to evolve. Attorneys and courts have struggled to adapt traditional discovery methods to the electronic age. Emails and other electronic files are now considered “documents” subject to discovery. Even “deleted” documents may be discovered. Know and follow your document retention and destruction policies. 

It is virtually impossible to conduct any business today without the aid of computers. Computers play an essential role in most business and records, including contracts, employee files, and medical records, are all commonly handled by and stored on computers, thumb drives and computer discs as well as on cell phones and other portable devices. Even the most mundane of communications, such as e-mails between offices or even employees in the same office, often take place only in cyberspace. Computer files, unlike “hard” or paper files, typically contain documents – perhaps even thousands of documents – that have never been printed or otherwise stored on paper. Absent special measures, e-mails, correspondence and draft documents, even those thought erased, remain embedded on computer hard drives, even if not easily accessible. Indeed, it is just such documents that electronic discovery, more commonly known as e-discovery, is often intended to find.

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