All it takes is one: one off-color joke sent from a company e-mail account or one hotheaded e-mail transmitted without a thought about how it could later be used to devastate the company’s side of a legal case, even if the e-mail or its author is entirely unrelated to the subject of the litigation. In the ever-expanding world of electronic documents and communication, businesses need to take proactive steps to prevent the creation of damaging documents, and they have to be prepared in the event litigation does arise by implementing an e-data management system before litigation.
Advanced information technology has drastically increased the scope of what is now discoverable, and mutual requests for production of electronically stored information are prevalent in today’s litigation. E-mail is an especially valuable source of evidence in litigation, because frequently employees are less mindful in such exchanges than in written memos and letters. People today tend to send an e-mail rather than pick up the phone, thus documenting precisely when a correspondence occurred and what was said.