According to industry experts, approximately 90% of the day’s business communications are performed via email or by way of unsecured instant messages, chats, or SMS.
With this change in technology came the “eDiscovery vendor” along with the birth of electronic review platforms and a myriad of tools to make review more manageable and reliable. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) formally recognized the change that had occurred with its 2006, 2008 & 2015 amendments that coined the term “ESI” to cover metadata, Steganography, native productions, back-up tape rotations, de-duping, hash-tagging, email threading, clustering, structured data, file shares, archiving, auto-purges, and a host of other technical challenges and solutions.
The amended FRCP regulations state that all electronic data such as emails, text messages, chats, e-communications, files, directives, and requests that may be relevant to current or future litigation cannot be modified, deleted or overwritten. The data must be produced upon request, and thus archived by law. Remarkably, most businesses are not aware of those regulations, and by law, they must comply with them; it is not an option.
The FRCP governs the production of evidence in Federal cases designed for the civil federal court system, with input from the US Supreme Court, and approval by the US Congress. Forty-eight states have adopted and are enacting the new rules for ESI discovery. Each state is following the FRCP with relevant provisions set by individual judges based on their state. Companies that find themselves subjected to lawsuits within the federal and state courts system need to be prepared to meet the requirements as written and supply information immediately as it pertains to individual cases.