Be Prepared for Litigation
In our world of electronic communication, your business needs to be prepared to handle the major risk of litigation. You could be responsible to produce records, reports, and data from your computer network and systems. As a result, electronic discovery could cost your business tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event you are sued.
Find Out What Your Business Owns and Where It Is Stored
To begin with, knowing who uses your company assets can make dealing with electronic discovery issues much simpler. Create and maintain a list of the equipment and devices each employee uses. Also be aware of the hardware and software used to do business. Most importantly, make sure you know what data your business owns, where it is located, and what backup procedures are in place. Gathering this information is the first, critical step in preparing for electronic document production.
Ready Your Litigation Plan
If you anticipate litigation, you are responsible to preserve relevant documentation. Litigation may present itself in the form of a filed complaint or a demand letter. In order to meet this duty, your business will need a plan to identify potentially relevant documents; to preserve those documents, and to suspend any routine destruction of documents. You can typically accomplish this through a litigation hold. Your lawyer will issue a litigation hold to those employees who are likely to have relevant information. Email can be particularly cumbersome. After all email communication has a large volume, is routinely destruction, and can be informal in tone and use.
Create or Revise Your Document-Related Policies
Ensure that your document-related policies are not stale. Don’t forget to incorporate electronic documents into these policies. Work with your information technology staff or a consultant, as well as legal counsel. Your policies should detail who owns the data and layout rules relating to the creation, communication, and storage of data. They should also address employer expectations regarding social media accounts for business purposes. Your policy should cover the use of personal devices as well. We can help ensure these policies are legally compliant.
Educate Your Employees
Once you have set your litigation plan and policies, it’s time to educate your employees. Most employees are conscientious and don’t want to do anything to harm their employers’ interests. However, lawsuits can be intimidating, and often, employees feel that their expectations are unclear.
Provide a question-and-answer session or a presentation for your employees to talk about your new document-related policies. During which, be sure to discuss the potential adverse consequences to the company of failing to preserve documents or of failing to suspend automatic destruction. We can advise you with regards to the critical points to include.
Be Ready for Potential Litigation with Bridge Law LLP
Work with a lawyer who understands and cares about your business to best achieve many of the items above. At Bridge Law LLP, we develop proactive relationships with our clients. As a result, working with us is like having General Counsel on your team. If you have not had a comprehensive review of your legal, insurance, financial and tax systems recently, give us a call to schedule a LIFT Foundation Audit. During your audit, we’ll identify any holes in your systems and design a plan to fill them. That way you can focus on growing your business with minimal risk to you and your family. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.