Ratcheting Up' Awareness of the Rules Changes}

Craig Carpenter, general counsel and vice president of marketing at Recommind, an enterprise knowledge management/legal hold/enterprise search company, has wat

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-01 Print this article Print

itle='Ratcheting Up' Awareness of the Rules Changes}

Craig Carpenter, general counsel and vice president of marketing at Recommind, an enterprise knowledge management/legal hold/enterprise search company, has watched the evolution of the way the federal courts approach the issue of digital data as evidence for about eight years.

"The biggest thing about the FRCP [rules update] is that it ratcheted up awareness of storing digital data for litigation purposes," Carpenter told eWEEK. "ESI [electronically stored information] was always covered in the rules. Most people didn't realize that; they thought the revisions actually created [the storage/access requirements]. But that isn't the case."

The 2006 changes in the rules served to clarify the way digital evidence should be stored and accessed.

Businesses fall into three camps when it comes to the FRCP rules changes, Carpenter said.

"First there are the Pfizers of the world, who've been dealing with this since long before the revisions. They already have processes built into place. What they're nervous about is that all the technology they have isn't really equipped to handle these new requirements," Carpenter said. "So they're actually building in more-and newer-infrastructure."

An example of this, Carpenter said, is a major credit-card company-a client of Recommind's-that had a new e-discovery project planned for next summer but moved it up to the beginning of 2009 for this reason.

The second group, Carpenter said, involves businesses "that hadn't had to deal with this in the past, but the revisions woke them up, and they've started to address it. These are more kind of 'mainstream America' companies."

Group No. 3 are those who didn't know what was happening beforehand and still don't know, Carpenter said.

"The good news is, they don't get sued very often. The bad news is, when they do get sued, they're in deep trouble," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said that he consulted with an auto manufacturer a year ago when it wanted to institute an e-discovery/archiving system for its terabyte of e-mail-based data.

"They were trying to have five paralegals go through, one by one by one, using Windows desktop tools, trying to find certain e-mails," Carpenter said.

"We tried to do the math for them and said, 'Look, this is going to take you five years.' I don't know what they eventually did, but hopefully they got a service provider to help them."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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