Are you ready for Dec. 1 e-discovery amendments?

By Ann Silverthorn

—On December 1, e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Civil Rule 5) will take effect. Fortunately, a number of vendors have solutions that can help organizations prepare to respond to lawsuits.

Here's a quick look at the amendments and a few of the related solutions:

Rules 26 and 34 state that a pre-meeting must occur between the companies involved in the lawsuit—not just between the lawyers, but also between the IT departments. Each of the companies must represent where data is stored and how it is stored, and the technology in place to provide access to that information.

Rule 34 also requires that organizations deliver the content in the format the requestor defines. Typically, the default is the native format, because it often contains hidden metadata that is erased when files convert to formats such as PDF.

Rule 37 codifies the standards around legal hold. When a lawsuit is ongoing, a company must stop destroying all information related to the case, regardless of its own systematic destruction policies. Many companies have automated systems to delete old e-mails or files, which could also delete evidence.

A recent survey conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that 45% of respondents have found that retrieving data from backup tapes is a significant challenge when they're responding to e-discovery requests. The survey also showed that 50% lacked adequate software tools to search and retrieve information.

C2C's Archive One Discovery Manager includes features to enhance the ability of Archive One to produce discovery information from within the archive and from within the "live" e-mail stores. Archive One Discovery Manager searches all Microsoft Exchange stores as well as data in the indexed archive and deleted items in folders without compromising permissions.

Chronicle Solutions' netReplay attaches itself to the Internet gateway of an organization and records everything digital on the network so it can be retrieved later if needed. This includes e-mail, instant messages, VoIP, Webmail, FTP activity, Web pages, and attachments.

CommVault's Archive Management has archive, find, search, and retrieval capabilities designed to meet the demand on organizations for e-mail retention and retrieval. CommVault's modular approach allows users to choose the level of e-mail preservation and retention they need, and to change it over time so they are not locked into a single methodology.

Index Engines' TE-200 Tape Engine integrates into existing tape backup infrastructures and directly indexes offline tapes. Index Engines can retrieve data directly from tape, eliminating the need to restore data to disk in order to search for data.

Iron Mountain recently introduced a new Web-based records retention management solution, Retention Center, designed to help companies manage retention schedules and litigation holds across all records repositories—physical and electronic—on an enterprise basis. Retention Center allows organizations to manage, monitor, and audit systems and repositories that contain records and information to meet compliance and litigation requirements.

Mendocino's InfiniView has keyword-based search functionality to meet e-discovery requirements that offloads searches of the contents of Microsoft Exchange systems without impacting Exchange server performance.

Symantec's Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator 6.0 is an extension of the company's Enterprise Vault e-mail and file archiving software. Discovery Accelerator is designed to reduce the burden and costs associated with the search, collection, production, and preservation of e-mail and other electronic records.

Zantaz offers a Tape Cataloging Practice to help companies address the changes to Rule 26, which tells organizations that they don't need to search or produce e-mail from media if they can justify that they're "not reasonable accessible because of undue burden or cost." The Tape Cataloging Practice provides customers with information about media contents by running tapes through a tape cataloging analytic to provide a tape library content report. The report helps customers understand the scope and effort required to access their data.

This article was originally published on November 22, 2006