eWeek, October 21, 2008
In a legal suit between Sprint Nextel and some of its affiliates over the Sprint-Clearwire WiMax venture, Google (who was one of the investors in the venture) was issued a subpoena for documents related to the case. Should be easy for a company that builds and bills its products as an answer to this very problem, right? Think again. Ironically, Google said it would be too big of a hassle to shuffle through its own electronic files.
According to Google’s counsel, “Google can perform such a search, but because of its e-mail system, it cannot do so as easily and inexpensively as other, similarly situated companies.” Not shockingly, a motion to compel quickly followed suit.
The author posits that responses similar to Google’s in this case will lead to even more guidelines:
“All of this is why I get the sense that companies will be expected to take available technological measures to preserve documentation for legal proceedings and to search them thoroughly.”