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Spring Journal

Volume 32, Issue 1

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 15:25

'Do I Really Need To Keep This?'

Navigating the Information Age Without Saving Everything

Data retention is a persistent challenge for in-house counsel, but developing workable information governance policies and procedures needn’t be a taxing exercise; in fact, they can generate measurable cost savings to the company. Here, Buckley LLP’s Caitlin Kasmar highlights the importance of being equipped with the right advice at the right time to save in-house counsel the stress of dealing with the challenges of document retention compliance.

The posture of in-house counsel toward information governance and data retention is in the midst of a noticeable and rapid shift from “are we retaining the right information?” to “please, please tell me I can get rid of some of this stuff.”

Those urgent pleas are fed not by data storage costs, which continue to decline, but by savvy in-house lawyers anticipating a subpoena or lawsuit, confronting a decade’s worth of retained emails and calculating compliance costs.

How are in-house counsel expected to advise their business clients on data retention when, in the typical company, numerous legal holds have piled up over time, executives may be effectively exempt from whatever retention/destruction policy is in place and no audit process exists to ensure records are actually deleted in compliance with the policy? The right advice at the right time can save in-house counsel the stress of dealing with these tricky — and, let’s face it, not particularly glamorous — issues.