Trends and the missing dots

I rarely twitter/tweet unless I want to follow-up something – a twitter recorder/alerter?
I guess I am not a savvy Twitter user and have not found a good reply to even a simple question as ‘what is Twitter?’

I was recently asked (by a non techie) ‘what is twitter?’ I said ; An online system for you and your friends to announce stuff like; ‘I’m off to bed’ or ‘so and so did this/that’ in 140 characters. She didn’t get too excited with my answer!

Anyhow, I did tweet on the Fulbright’s 7th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report and also IBM’s acquisition of PSS Systems. Both events worth following up to help me connect up the dots – in simple terms from people to process to technology to the court.

In the Survey Report under Electronic Discovery, there was a survey question which asked all respondents; To what extend do you believe the legal guidance regarding a litigant’s duty to preserve electronic and other material in anticipation of an investigation or litigation provides sufficient clarity regarding the scope of material that must be preserved?. The majority of respondents say it is not sufficiently clear.

I wonder whether this question if surveyed again next year will produce the same result. My guess is that it will, even if the UK respondents have grasped the newly amended CPR -PD31B Disclosure of Electronic Documents.
As regards the scope of preservation, the amended PD31B states; ‘As soon as litigation is contemplated, the parties’ legal representatives must notify their clients of the need to preserve disclosable documents. The documents to be preserved include Electronic Documents which would otherwise be deleted in accordance with a document retention policy or otherwise deleted in the ordinary course of business’. Note: not just preserve documents but ‘to preserve disclosable documents’.

The PD31B further provides guidance/direction on ‘what constitute reasonable search’.
Clear enough to connect all the dots as required for ensuring a defensible disposal?

Interestingly there is a question in the Electronic Documents Questionnaire; ‘Do you have a document retention policy? This question seems to be seeking for a simple need to know to a complex policy. Like being asked ‘Do You Twitter?’. Yes/No, so !?

Perhaps a better question is; what kinds of procedures or industry standards/models/practices are in place to address data retention needs? I guess it depends on what the PD31B question is intended to review or capture.
Maybe I will suggest this question (not the PD31B question) for the Fulbright’s 8th Annual Litigation Trends Survey.

Next reminder – to blog about another missing dot which I raised here which appeared to be addressed by folks at CGOC.

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