Lawyers To IT: ESI Is Your Baby

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Lawyers To IT: ESI Is Your Baby

InformationWeek, October 23, 2008

Who exactly should be held responsible for policies governing electronically stored information (ESI)? If you look at a recent survey of 400 U.S. and U.K.-based attorneys by Kroll Ontrack, 35 percent of U.S. respondents believe IT should be accountable for developing and enforcing ESI policies. This represents more than a 50 percent increase from last year’s survey, indicating a significant shift during the last year. While some may believe that this growth indicates that legal departments are simply passing the buck to IT, this article argues that even more legal experts should be supportive of IT managing ESI issues.

    “Why? Because the discovery problem is so complex, on both the technological and legal fronts, that IT and legal must acknowledge they need each other to manage it correctly. This survey indicates a growing recognition of IT’s critical role in an enterprise’s litigation preparedness.”

In other words, why should legal experts be responsible for a process that requires the expertise of IT professionals? (And vice versa, of course.) Along with the help of attorneys who can ensure ESI policies and strategies align with legal and regulatory requirements, IT can lead the way in proper evidence representation in court.

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