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A Guide to Discovery: Abandoned Email Archives

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Understanding email systems and email archives will help you decide when your organization should delete all of those old emails.

If Shakespeare were alive today, he might write, let’s kill all the emails. Unlike 20 years ago, it is undisputed that an email system is a widely used tool for day-to-day work; and a generator, and proliferator, of a huge, expensive vat of discoverable information downstream in electronic discovery. As in other electronically stored information (ESI) arenas, email management has continued to become more complex in an era of ever-increasing customers’/users’ demands for instant responses and thus companies’ expectations that exempt workers send and receive messages 24/7. Archives generated by individuals or inhering in enterprise wide archiving platforms deployed by an organization have many ramifications throughout the life cycle of data. So, it behooves most every organization to take proactive steps day-to-day to try to avoid risks and costs once in reactive mode downstream in e-discovery. This topic will provide many practical tips for companies of all shapes and sizes and for their counsel.