Old Laws – New Applications

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that shredding of documents must be suspended when an investigation has been initiated. How about your email, though?

Case law is evolving in this area but assume, unless told otherwise in the future, that electronic messages must be treated no differently than hard copies. The obvious implication is that you can’t simply go on a message deletions spree if you don’t want messages to show up as evidence. (Of course, data experts can find them on your machines most of the time with remarkable ease anyhow.)

The less obvious implication is that it behooves us all to develop effective filing systems for electronic messages so that, if needed, you can locate the needed files as quickly and easily as possible. If your inbox and sent box is like most of the world’s are, finding the small bits of information – and sometimes even the big stuff – can be rough going.

Think about what you can do to make electronic records and correspondence readily available if/as needed.

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