General Counsel of big organizations all over the world are still worried about the expenses and doubts which encompass maintenance of information which is electronically stored and the effect of social media on the process of e-discovery.
There is a wide range of documents and this number is still rising. This has led to the rise of litigation costs.
What Leads to This Rise in Costs?
- There are a lot of factors which lead to high costs where litigation is concerned. Firstly, the regulatory keeps changing and this leads to alterations in the form and price of compliance.
- Companies in the United States are suffering with an environment which has a regulatory which continues to grow tough and also oversight from various agencies of the government.
- Also, there exists the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine which ‘permits corporate officers to be considered liable for breaking of the law of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with no evidence of personal blame founded on a viewing that the positions they hold in the company accorded them duty and power to avoid or correct breaking of the law.’
- The prospect for criminal charges hovers over the senior team in each big corporation. This thin line between criminal and civil action raises doubt and risk and increases the necessity of e-discovery.
- Globally, the impact of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act and a rising number of laws for anti-corruption in foreign countries build additional layers and more discoverable data.
- Privately, individual plaintiffs like whistleblowers are becoming partners with the US state to begin qui tam litigation using the False Claims Act.
- The complication of defending many actions of Legal Process Outsourcing while offering protection against the uncalled for spreading of data from one government body to another is a big problem which has grown a lot recently.
- Due to all these latest problems, it is obvious that GCs need to hire outside professionals to recognize risks and manage arising problems and this raises costs further.
Effect of Social Media
- Another crucial problem which gives GCs sleepless nights is the advent of New Media. The world of print and paper has now transformed into a web of e-zines, bloggers and social media.
- The New Media world offers an additional complication to the definition of information which is eligible for discovery. To some GCs, the kind of media present today comes with a number of potential liabilities in supervision of the investigation and landscape for litigation.
- The spread of interaction through social media gives GCs another motivation for the management of e-discovery.
- Using tools for social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn bring challenges in terms of collection and maintenance. Each year, cases increase which involves evidence presented from social media.
- Social channels normally bear the brunt of being served with search warrants and subpoenas from the government in criminal issues.
- This leads to social media being a center of data to manipulate during an investigation or court case, and builds a bigger risk in terms of breach of privacy and safety.