After doing research and presenting the facts during my speaking engagement in July 2009 with the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), it became apparent that there is a void in email archiving usage in most construction offices and many of the industry’s service providers. Here in Arizona according to the Arizona Builders Alliance Legal Notes, the Statute of Repose, may extend a discovery issue past the 8 year limitation. Are you able to produce the emails requested on a latent defect claim?
You also cannot hide behind the excuse that you don’t have the technology to produce the email records in an e-discovery request any longer. The courts have spoken in Phillip M. Adams & Assocs., L.L.C. v. Dell, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26964 (D. Utah Mar. 27, 2009), and Spieker v. Quest Cherokee, LLC, 2009 WL 2168892 (D. Kan. July 21, 2009).
Manually classifying email content, and time spent searching through past emails has become a productivity drain on every email user. The Personal Folder File (PST) in Outlook, while widely used is actually a hindrance and RISK to your firm. Per Archiving 101 here are some reasons you shouldn’t use PSTs:
■You cannot apply retention or legal hold to PST files
■eDiscovery requests are nearly impossible to accomplish as they require searching, discovery and manually opening and searching all the content in them.
■PST files are quite often used when employees leave organizations to take their maildata with them to a competitor. They can store them on an MP3 player and walk out of the door which is a huge security risk for data leakage.
■They’re fragile, especially as they get big. They get corrupted too easily. Users aren’t the best at ensuring that their systems are properly shut down.
■You lose single instance store (SIS).
■It’s simply nuts to store PSTs on a network drive. They just end up taking up more space. Is disk space on your file server cheaper than disk space on your Exchange server? (besides that Microsoft doesn’t support PST files on a File Share)
Why is Archiving Important to Your Firm?
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For Enterprise class construction firms, we offer consulting services and have extensively researched and placed the EMC SourceOne (formerly Email Xtender) offering into large contracting firms to address their email archiving and corporate governance requirements. Please contact me with any questions you have in determining which solution best fits your needs.