Legacy Data Management

 

Cost

How devastating are the costs? Consider this:

  • On average, employees generate 1 gigabyte of data per year.

  • If your company is involved in litigation and the allegations of the suit involve 20 employees over a 10 year time period, you will need to collect and review for production to the adverse party 200 gigabytes of data. (This is a relatively modest amount these days).

  • The data will be collected, de-duplicated, filtered for executable files, et cetera, thereby reducing the volume to 150 gigabytes.  

  • If it is assumed that each gigabyte contains 50,000 pages, there will be 7,500,000 pages for attorney review.  The claimed average review rate by law firms is 200 pages per hour; which breaks down to 37,500 hours of attorney time for the review. If the market value for contract lawyers is $75 per hour, the review will cost $2,812,500.

  • The cost of review does not include the costs for collecting the data (assume $900 per employee), the cost to process it ($700 per gigabyte) or the cost to get it ready for production (preparing the documents by creating .tif or .pdf images of each page of each document -$.01 per page). 

  • So the actual cost would be approximately $2,942,500 for just 200 gigabytes of data that you could have legally disposed of before the matter arose.

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The Data Problem

Uncertainty about media content and fear of sanctions if ESI is deleted have resulted in "keep everything" practices and no one in the organization is willing to make disposition decisions regarding such data. As such, it is becoming a potentially massive cost landmine in the event it becomes subject to discovery in a litigation or investigation.

Once the litigation hits, it must be preserved and the opportunity for proper management is lost.The continued failure to manage such media creates "dormant liability," which is the unknown, potential legal liability -- measured in dollars – that the unnecessary retention of the data will cost the corporation in the event of litigation or investigation. Disposing of that data which an organization has no current legal responsibility to maintain, instantly and dramatically reduces dormant liability.

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Methodology

  • Review existing document or data retention policies and regulatory requirements;

  • Analysis of litigation docket and potential upcoming litigation, together with status of discovery in each;

  • Identification of persons, divisions, or departments to audit for data, and priority for same;

  • Execute inventory of loose media and conduct interviews to obtain anecdotal information regarding the media;

  • Establish preliminary categories for disposition and retention;

  • For data subject to retention, refine inventory to categorize the importance, relevancy and ownership of each item;

  • Kershaw drafts memorandum of recommendations as to the disposition of data and media, together with "sign-off" sheets and supporting documentation;

  • Establish on-going future services to prevent the future unnecessary retention of data and media.

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