08 February 2007

eDiscovery: The New Digital Age...

What does Operational Risk have to do with legal liability? Digital Forensics is a growing discipline across the landscape of corporate, legal and academic institutions. The volumes of electronic information involved in new litigation and investigations calls for expert practitioners and witnesses to make sure that evidence is uncovered, preserved and presented without spoilation. The era of eDiscovery is upon us.

Analyzing the data and making sense of all of it by the investigator is getting easier yet we have a long way to go. This area of event reconstruction or forensic timeline editor is now becoming a reality:

The area of event reconstruction in computer forensics deals with analyzing and evaluating data obtained from a system and use it to determine what happened. The data recovery process is a well-covered area within computer forensics, but little work has been done on how to actually analyze and evaluate the data. Only very crude tools, such as mactimes or individual log analyzers, exist. A comprehensive event reconstruction on a system that takes into account data from various sources, such as file MAC times, system logs, firewall logs, and application data, is mostly done manually by the investigator. With storage capacities growing rapidly and systems permanently being connected to global networks more and more, it is not uncommon that the number of events recorded by a system easily goes into the hundreds of thousands.

This remains only a small facet of the real problem when it comes to finding what is relevant for litigation. In the context of legal discovery, the days of making copies and filing them in boxes is being dwarfed by the newest Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and the preservation of metadata. The best of breed answers to the digital discovery revolution can be found at Stratify, an emerging player in the automated eDiscovery spectrum of software solutions.

Optimize Litigation Readiness

General counsel together with their outside counsel need an effective means to manage documents and emails from key custodians and/or on specific topics in advance of litigation or regulatory discovery requests. When they receive a discovery request they need to be able to easily and quickly select sets of documents for review and analysis in their eDiscovery application.

The Stratify Legal Discovery™ service was designed to fulfill these requirements as the most easy-to-use, efficient eDiscovery solution available to law firms and corporate counsel.

Electronic Document Retention and Production has been a subject of great importance for many years inside law firms and the legal departments of the Fortune 500. The Sedona Conference has forged the way in providing guideance and some best practices to consider when embarking on this challenging mission. The question is, who is looking out for the Russell 2000 small cap company or mid-sized enterprise business? A single person may even represent the legal team, as the sole General Counsel.

Operational Risk includes legal risk, which is the risk of loss resulting from failure to comply with laws as well as prudent ethical standards and contractual obligations. It also includes exposure to litigation from all aspects of an institutions activities.

It's just a matter of time if you are in a highly regulated business sector that the time will come for your day in court. Make sure you are ready long before the phone rings or the papers are served. What is the source of the personal identifiable information that has caused this wave of consumer based fraud?

The FTC has released it's study on the methods, origins, victims and costs today of ID Theft. The odds are that the data breach may not be what puts you on the hot seat.

The US futures regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has filed a complaint in the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against New York-based hedge fund manager Cornerstone Capital Management and its chief executive, Joseph Profit of Atlanta.

The complaint alleges that Cornerstone and Profit violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and a CFTC regulation. On January 31, US district judge Richard Story issued a restraining order freezing the defendants' assets and prohibiting them from destroying documents or denying CFTC staff access to books and records.

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