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Legal: FRCP Compliance

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Applicability

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) govern all civil actions and proceedings in U.S. district courts. FRCP amendments, effective as of December 2006, require every company involved in lawsuits and federal litigation to preserve and recover electronic documents and Email messages as part of the discovery process. If a business is involved in a civil action in federal court, FRCP procedures, including precedents for electronic discovery, must be followed.

The Impact to Your Business

New language in the FRCP acknowledges electronic information as containing important business records subject to discovery. As a result, discovery affects archived and active file servers. Parties involved in a lawsuit must preserve documents, including Email messages, as evidence. Risks for noncompliance can include fines, criminal penalties and obstruction of justice charges. As a result. business owners are seeking technologies that:

  • Efficiently capture, store and retrieve all information in a comprehensive system.
  • Control electronically stored information by preserving its integrity.
  • Simplify the file search and retrieval process to save money on legal discovery.

“U.S. companies face an average of 305 pending lawsuits internationally. The average litigation
expenditure for U.S. companies surveyed has increased by 50% from 2005 to $12 million – a figure that does not include ultimate case settlement or judgment payments. Litigation costs Loom even Larger considering that they represent more than 70% of overall Legal spending.”

— Fulbright & Jaworski, Third Annual Litigation Trends Survey  

ECM Enables FRCP Compliance

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provides a comprehensive archive to control all electronic information and make it searchable and accessible. Companies of every size and in any industry can use PaperVision® Enterprise and ImageSilo® to reduce the time, cost and burden of reproducing information. In addition to reducing the risk of FRCP noncompliance. an ECM solution can also improve operational efficiency and employee productivity.

Efficiently Capture and Store Information

Under the FRCP, judges can set strict deadlines for discovery. When time is of the essence, the hours saved searching for documents might equal the competitive advantage a business needs to win the case. ECM enables the Legal team to locate and produce information efficiently.

Print. export and Email search results and allow judges and lawyers secure, temporary Web-based access to electronic documents. Capture and index all Email messages and attachments so they are easy to find in response to a court order.

Gain Control of Your Security

The FRCP does not set requirements for producing metadata, such as a modified date or other evidence of a document’s origin, usage and validity. However, preserving the integrity of electronic documents and verifying that they have not been changed are increasingly important elements of discovery and dispute resolution. Several ECM control features provide proof of system integrity and document validity.

  • Track different document versions and document access with check-in and check-out functions to show who accessed documents and what they did with them.
  • Ensure that stored Email messages have not been altered since they were captured by the ECM system with non-repudiation technology.

Save Money by Streamlining Searches

With electronic information growing in every direction and every form, businesses need a single system that captures all important business records and facilitates retrieval without breaking the bank. ECM provides complete document archive that allows you to cut costs and save money.

  • Access more than 250 file types, paper records, images, print streams and Email messages within one central system to expedite searches.
  • Save time and money on information searches by using keyword searches to pinpoint specific text within the content of a document quickly.

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